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High needs top-up funding in mainstream sixth forms

High needs funding for mainstream school sixth forms comes from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). It is for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. 

A high needs funded student is one with support costs over £6,000. Any student costing less than £6,000 is not classed as high needs, and therefore they should be funded out of the school's own disadvantage funding budget. 

If you need high needs funding for any student in your school sixth form for 2024/25, apply as soon as possible but no later than the end of December 2024.

How to apply

  1. Read Post 16 high needs funding panel mainstream school sixth form applications - terms of reference and procedure (Word doc) [39KB]
  2. If needed, read Guidance for mainstream school sixth forms on top-up funding (Appendix 2) (Word doc) [21KB] 
  3. Download and complete the top-up request form (Appendix 1) (Word doc) [30KB] and email it with evidence of the claim to

Need help?

If you have any questions or require further information, contact Sara-Jane Sturman, Education and Training Officer on 01603 222390 or email

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