CHANGES to the way funding is allocated to schools for pupils with additional learning needs in Monmouthshire are to be considered.

Monmouthshire council is launching a consultation on proposed changes to the funding formula, which was last reviewed in 2009.

Currently, funding is delegated to schools for pupils with additional learning needs (ALN) by a lump sum based on free school meals, and by band funding delegated for pupils based on recommendations from the ALN panel.

However a council report says the system is ‘bureaucratic’ and has been criticised by headteachers for being “very time consuming and rigid”.

“The funding follows the pupil and, if the pupil leaves, the funding will be removed, which could result in a member of staff who is supporting that pupil being put at risk of losing their job,” the report says.

A working group made up of headteachers, school business managers, ALN co-ordinators and council officers have reviewed options, and decided to reject the current way funding is delegated.

Instead, two new methods of delegating funding have been drawn up and are being consulted on.

Both options will delegate funding based on a combination of pupil numbers and ALN band funding.

The first proposal would see 70 per cent of funding distributed based on pupil numbers and 30 per cent on banding.

The second would see 80 per cent of the funding based on pupil numbers and 20 per cent on banding.

Under the first proposal, 18 schools have their funding reduced and 16 would have their funding increased.

The second proposal would see 16 schools with a reduction in funding and 18 schools with an increase.

A council report says: “Under both proposals there will be a need for transition funding to reduce the effects for those schools that see large increases and large losses.

“This will be over a three-year period by capping the gains and losses.”

The proposal will be reviewed after a year to ensure it is fair and operating as intended.

The proposed changes only affect funding for pupils with ALN in mainstream Monmouthshire schools.

It would not affect the funding formula for special resource bases, small class provision at King Henry VIII school or placements in out-of-county or independent schools.

If approved, the changes would come into effect for the start of the next financial year.

A consultation on the proposals will close on February 11.