What ‘Top Up' funding is for, who can apply for it and how to apply.

If a pupil in your education setting has very complex needs and requires specialist help to make progress with their education, you can apply for additional funding. This is called 'element 3' or 'Top Up' funding. 

You must only use Top Up funding to provide support for the pupil you request it for. This can include:

  • therapeutic interventions 
  • highly specialised resources, such as social communication and interaction groups, specialised speech and language therapy or IT modifications 

Apply for Top Up funding

Only the pupil's education setting can apply for top up funding. 

To apply for Top Up funding for the 2023 to 2024 school year, you need to:

Find an example of a support plan on our guide to SEND support.

All applications need to include a completed Top Up Funding application form. If you're using a Support Plan template which includes a costed and evaluated provision map it isn't necessary to duplicate by completing the costed provision map proforma, within the Top Up application form.

Read our pdf secure email guidance (235 KB) .

February 2024 Top Up dates

Applications must be submitted to SENDTUpanel@bristol.gov.uk by 4pm on Friday 9 February 2024.

All applications will be assessed by panels held daily from 28 February 2024 until 8 March 2024.

All applications will be assessed, including: 

  • special schools 
  • resource bases
  • mainstream schools 

If you're submitting an application to panel, you're expected to attend one of the panel days. Email your availability to SENDTUPanel@bristol.gov.uk Go to mailto:SENDTUPanel@bristol.gov.uk (opens new window)

If you're submitting more than 4 applications either send two representatives who could attend on separate days or one representative to attend two panel days.

This will help ensure schools receive decisions in the usual timeframe 10 working days following the last panel held.

All Top Up submissions received, on or before the submission deadline, will be reviewed.

You'll be notified of the decision within 10 working days of the last panel held.

Upcoming Top Up dates for 2024

June 2024 Top Up Panel

Applications must be submitted by 4pm, Friday 7 June 2024.

All applications will be assessed by panels held daily from 24 June 2024 for two weeks.