Skip to navigation Skip to main content

Rebalancing High Needs

We support the rebalancing of High Needs systems towards earlier intervention and support, reducing new demand for EHCP’s, preventing demand escalating and stepping down unnecessary demand for specialist provision.

The challenge

Parents or carers of a child with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) are no different from any other parent: they want the very best for their child, including in education. A combination of high demand, inadequate funding and flawed educational performance measures has resulted in a system that is not working well enough. It is also clear that more money is not the only answer – over £1.5 billion of additional funding has already been put into the sector through High Needs Block over the last two years.  Our work has shown 3 key challenges which we have been addressing with over a dozen local authorities:

  • Behaviour and cultural challenges in a fragmented system: Responses to children’s needs are fragmented and opportunities to join up are missed, resulting in a lack of trust and misaligned expectations around the level of support required to meet need
  • Gap in Early Intervention: Earlier support is often available but not understood or used, leading to a situation where over 50% of children could have had their needs reduced, delayed or prevented from escalating
  • Needs and outcomes are not clear: The lack of a measurable local needs profile makes value-based sufficiency planning difficult and tracking progress/ impact on children’s needs impossible


Our solution

Our focus is on helping deliver sustainable High Needs systems, developing a clear overview of demand, cost and outcomes along the child’s journey – and ways to re-balance spend towards earlier intervention. Through measuring system change in this way we are able to evidence direct benefits from our work – achieving both spend reductions and crucially, improvements in outcomes.

Our work in re-framing High Needs provides:

  • A deeper understanding of what is happening in the high needs system including opportunities to intervene earlier, achieved by creating a clearer baseline of demand and cost, co-created with partners
  • Evidence through our unique demand analysis methodology of where demand can be prevented, reduced or delayed – and how
  • Partnership and parental alignment to this view – through developing a local inclusive ambition focused on inclusion and preventing escalation of need

Reductions in demand and cost through the delivery of interventions along the child’s journey including fast paced behavioural trails to build confidence and momentum.

High Needs

Recent impact examples


reduction in new ECHPs


reduction in annual spend forecast


avoidable demand

Work with us

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss the challenges your organisation is facing.