Stoke-on-Trent Special Provision Planning
Local authorities have to make sure there are sufficient good school places for all pupils, including those with Special Educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.
The Government has committed additional capital funding to help local authorities create new school places and improve existing facilities for children and young people with SEN and disabilities, in consultation with parents and providers. This funding can be invested in mainstream schools and academies, special units, special schools and academies, early years settings, further education colleges or to make other provision for children and young people aged from 0 to 25.
Local authorities have to plan how to invest their allocation. In undertaking this planning, we should consult with parents and carers, schools, FE colleges and other institutions which offer special educational provision so we invest the funding as strategically as possible.
In addition, we have to publish a short plan on the Local Offer page that sets out how we will invest the funding.
Over the past year the Stoke on Trent Inclusion team have undertaken a strategic review of SEN needs and provision in Stoke on Trent. The SEND population and numbers of children and young adults with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) is growing. Plans have increased for pupils with Social Emotional and Mental Health needs and Autism. Discussion with parents and carers and provision mapping planning with schools in Stoke on Trent has confirmed that we do not have enough locally based specialist provision, particularly for children and young people with Social Emotional and Mental Health needs and for Higher Functioning ASD needs. In addition parents have discussed that they would prefer to have more resourced provision linked to mainstream schools.
Stoke on Trent Local Authority is committed to improving Special Educational Provision by:
- Ensuring that the needs of most pupils with additional needs can be met through mainstream provision
- Ensuring sufficient specialist placements in Stoke on Trent for pupils when need cannot be met in mainstream.
- Ensuring sufficient provision in Stoke on Trent to reduce the need to use independent specialist provision.
The council will begin formal consultation on 16th April 2018 on proposed expansion and development of SEN provision. The Local Authority will publish its short plan after the consultation. The city council’s Cabinet will be considering the council’s strategic approach to SEND provision at its meeting on 27 March 2018. A report will be available on the council’s website from 22 March 2018.
As part of the strategic review, the city council is working proactively with partners through a High Needs Strategic Group, which has representation from mainstream schools, special schools, educational psychology, social care, early intervention and other key partners.
The current focus of the work streams is:
- High needs provision planning across the city - this work stream is the subject of this report.
- Developing understanding of Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)
- Developing multi-agency partnerships to support pupils with SEN needs
- Re-design of the financial matrix related to the allocation of funding to schools for SEN pupils
- Ensuring Special Educational Need Coordinators (SENCOs) have appropriate training and developing teachers understanding of special needs.
Please see the Related Documents section of this page to view the Stoke on Trent Special Provision Plan.
To find out more about the High Needs Review, that the Government has asked us to do, please read the key messages attached with the letter found in the Related Documents section of this page.
We would like to thank you for your views about the education provision for children and young people funded using High Needs grants. The short survey for parents and carers of children and young people with SEND to complete has now closed and all responses will be taken to a Strategic Review.