Virtual Schoolbag (VSB)

04 Mar 2019
Business managers, bursars and secretaries, headteachers, sencos of all schools
For information
Monthly data capture dates for 2019/20 high needs top up funding

Confirmation of the monthly data capture dates for 2019/20. These will be used by Service Finance when calculating any high needs top up funding that you may be eligible to receive under the current funding arrangements.

Please see confirmation below of the monthly data capture dates for 2019/20 which will be used by Service Finance when calculating any high needs top up funding that you may be eligible to receive under the current funding arrangements. This applies to pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) with the highest levels of need.

Thursday 04th April 2019

Thursday 09th May 2019

Thursday 06th June 2019

Thursday 04th July 2019               (Data also used for August count)

Thursday 12th September 2019

Thursday 10th October 2019

Thursday 07th November 2019

Thursday 05th December 2019

Thursday 16th January 2020

Thursday 06th February 2020

Thursday 05th March 2020


How does the funding process work?

Schools will not receive any reports in their AVCO inbox on the above count dates. Snapshot data will be taken from the Local Authority Core Pupil Database on these dates and forwarded to the Service Finance Team. College Central, Special schools and Special Academies should continue to forward their monthly on roll data securely on each ‘count date’

  • Service Finance team use the band values recorded for each pupil in calculating the monthly top up funding you will be allocated as part of your next monthly financial report received following ‘count date’, via AVCO.  For maintained schools this is shown on the ‘High needs’ tab in your excel Revenue Report. For academies this is shown on your individual high needs top-up report. For information, you will also receive details of those children with ‘Non Funded Statutory Plans’ who are not eligible for top up funding.
  • You should reconcile the ‘High needs’ information you have received from Service Finance team against your SIMS database to ensure the names and banding information is correct.
  • The actual top up payments will be made by journal at the end of the month following the count date to ESCC mainstream and maintained special schools. All academies and free schools will receive their funding via BACS in the month following count date.
  • The July snapshot will be used to calculate both your July and August top up funding elements. Therefore, school leavers who are on roll on July count date will still be eligible and will be included when your August top up funding is calculated. You can still record an ‘off roll’ date on SIMS at the end of July as you would normally do so.

How is top up funding received for Other Local Authority funded pupils?

  • Schools should consult with their Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disability (ISEND), Assessment & Planning Officer as soon as they are approached to admit an Other Local Authority pupil in order to initiate the top up funding process.
  • In the majority of cases schools receive their top up funding direct from East Sussex Service Finance Team.
  • The Service Finance team at East Sussex will then claim the funding back from the Other Local Authority on behalf of your school.
  • For children who are undergoing Statutory Assessment who live in another local authority, please notify your school's named ISEND Assessment & Planning Officer. The other local authority should be consulting with the ESCC ISEND team regarding any top up funding your school may be eligible to receive when agreeing the placement with you.
  • For children who already have an EHC Plan who move into East Sussex, please check with your named ISEND Assessment & Planning Officer to ensure they are also aware that the child is known to the ESCC ISEND team.
  • East Sussex ISEND team will moderate the assessment or final EHC Plan/annual review paperwork and accompanying professional reports in order to allocate a top up band value, where necessary. In doing so, all pupils on your school roll living within East Sussex or an Other Local Authority will receive a consistent and fair approach to resource allocation using East Sussex assessment and moderation processes.
  • Other Local Authorities should be encouraged to consult with East Sussex ISEND team when considering a school placement for a pupil they are maintaining an EHC Plan for and/or responsible for funding the placement.

How to notify the Local Authority of any discrepancies/queries?

  1. You believe the top up band value attached to a pupil is incorrect, and/or
  2. You believe a pupil to be missing from your monthly revenue/high needs top-up, and/or
  3. A pupil with an EHC Plan is no longer on your school roll but is still appearing on the monthly revenue report.

In cases 1. to 3. above, you should notify your named Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disability (ISEND), Assessment & Planning Officer (APO). Also, copy email to

  • In all email communications which identify pupil names it is a requirement to use the secure email system.
  • Your ISEND Assessment & Planning Officer (APO) will investigate on your behalf and respond to you directly. Where an error has been made on the part of the local authority, your APO will request for an adjustment to be made to your funding report and update the Local Authority Core Pupil database.
  • The funding report will be adjusted retrospectively for the number of months the data has been incorrect. It is safest to reconcile your revenue/high needs top-up report as soon as possible after receipt and to report any discrepancies before the next monthly data capture takes place. This will ensure any necessary financial adjustments are processed quickly.

If you have not received your monthly revenue/high needs top-up report in the AVCO finance folder, please contact schools finance on

Steve Jarvis
Steve Jarvis
Information Analyst (SEN)

Phone: 01273 481585