Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Education Sufficiency Strategy

Closed 18 Jul 2021

Opened 7 Jun 2021

Overview

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Planning for the education of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Background

We want to make sure that there are enough education places for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) to meet the demand over the next 5 years.  Families tell us they prefer their children to attend local schools and colleges so that they are close to their home and communities and do not have to travel long distances.  To achieve this we need to reconfigure or expand some of our schools so that there are enough places that can meet every child’s needs

What is the SEND Education Sufficiency Strategy?

The SEND Education Sufficiency Strategy is the document that sets out the Council’s plan for making sure there are sufficient school and college places for children and young people with SEND. The strategy:

  • Details the current educational places available in Buckinghamshire for the 5 – 25 age group
  • Outlines the range of needs children and young people in Buckinghamshire have, and the areas where demand is increasing
  • Forecasts future demand, both in terms of the number of school places likely to be required over the next 5 years, and the nature of these placements
  • Identifies some proposals for how this demand could be met.

We would like to hear your views on our plans for creating enough educational places for children with SEND.
 

What are the key proposals?

Our SEND Education Sufficiency Plan aims to meet the growing demand detailed in this Strategy.  In essence, it aims to address the following areas:

  1. The need to increase the capacity/ability of secondary mainstream schools (including Additionally Resourced Provisions) to support children with Autism, Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) particularly in Aylesbury and Wycombe.
  2. The need to increase the capacity/ability of secondary mainstream schools (including Additionally Resourced Provisions) to support children in Aylesbury with moderate learning difficulties and Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD).
  3. The need to accommodate some growth in primary and post-16 mainstream schools particularly in Aylesbury and Wycombe.
  4. The need for more secondary and post-16 special school places across the county, but particularly in Aylesbury, to primarily accommodate children with Autism and learning difficulties.
  5. The need for more specialist provision to support children with Autism and/or Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH) for whom an academic education offers the best possible foundation for their future.
  6. The need for suitable post-16 Further Education placements across the county to accommodate a range of needs.

Our 6 key proposals are:

  1. Develop nurture or other appropriate break-out spaces in all secondary settings to ensure consistency across the county. This may mean reconfiguring buildings in some cases where space is not available.
     
  2. Reconfigure/expand Additional Resourced Provision (ARP) and SEN unit provision to meet future demand. 
  • Establish a new Communication and Interaction (Autism) 8 place ARP in a  mainstream primary school in the Aylesbury Vale area.
  • Develop a new Communication and Interaction (Autism) 10 place ARP in a mainstream secondary school in the Aylesbury Vale area.
  • Close 1 Primary Physical Disability ARP due to reduced demand.
  • Reduce ARP capacity where demand is reduced.
  • Develop a new SEN unit for primary pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs.
  1. Reconfigure/expand specialist provision for children with Communication and Interaction needs (Autism) and significant learning difficulties:
  • Develop the capacity of Chiltern Wood and Vale Federation schools to accommodate the rise in young people with complex Autism with Severe Learning Difficulties expected in the secondary specialist sector from September 2022.
  • Consider, alongside social care and health partners in the local area, the need for residential schooling provision linked to a current special school for Autism and complex learning difficulties.
  • Develop satellite classrooms in the north of the county (primary and secondary) for children with Autism enabling pupils to gradually integrate into the mainstream setting over a 2-year period in line with their needs being met. This will also broaden the GCSE offer to these pupils. Approx. 25 places across primary and secondary, linked to Furze Down School.
  • Increase capacity at Stony Dean and Pebble Brook Schools (subject to building works) to enable the school to support children with Moderate Learning Difficulties and Speech, Language and Communication Needs for whom it is evidenced will need long term support and preparation for independent adult living.  This will increase placements by 16 places.
  • Close the residential provision at Alfriston School (following a needs analysis) and examine the possibility of converting to day places which are currently oversubscribed.
  1. Review and expand the capacity of existing special schools to deliver a mainstream curriculum in a low arousal environment to cater for children with Communication and Interaction needs (Autism) for whom a mainstream curriculum offers the best possible foundation for their future. Approx.  80 places over the next four years.
     
  2. Reconfigure/expand specialist provision for children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs.
  • Enable Special Schools that do not ordinarily cater for Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs to provide support for children who present challenging behaviours as a result of their underpinning SEN. Designated Social, Emotional and Mental Health schools to provide for children who have severe  Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs as their primary area of need.
  • Develop Secondary Social, Emotional and Mental Health specialist provision to offer a wider/vocational curriculum options.
  • Develop a new Special School which can provide therapeutically for children with identified attachment disorders and Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs.
  1. Develop the offer at Buckinghamshire College Group to meet the demand. This may include developing the skills and knowledge of staff in the areas of Social, Emotional and Mental Health and Autism, conducting a space analysis to ensure the site is fit for purpose (building on previous works and investment) and working in partnership to develop initiatives to meet the needs of particular groups.

 

Further information

You can read more about our current school offer to children with SEND and our analysis of future demand in the draft SEND Education Sufficiency Strategy. This summarises the current and future requirements for school places and how we have developed our plans. Following the consultation, this strategy document will be updated to include a final plan for how we will reconfigure/increase school places for children with SEND, taking into account the feedback received.

The SEND Education Sufficiency Strategy is part of the wider SEND and Inclusion Strategy that sets out our collective aspirations for all children and young people with SEND in Buckinghamshire, specifically priority 2 which focuses on sufficiency as a whole and the growing areas of demand. You may be interested to read this at: https://schoolsweb.buckscc.gov.uk/media/56587/send-inclusion-strategy-buckinghamshire.pdf

 

How to take part in the consultation

Please submit your feedback by completing the online feedback form below.

If you need a printed version of the feedback form, please contact Sharon  Sachania Sharon.Sachania@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

The closing date for you to submit your feedback is 18 July 2021.

You may also be interested in attending one of our virtual discussion groups to find out more information and share your views. The online information sessions are scheduled for the following dates:

  • Parent/carer information sessions: Tuesday 22 June, 7 – 8pm and Wednesday 23 June,  11am - 12pm
     
  • School information session: Monday 28 June, 4.30 – 5.30pm

To book a place, please email Sharon Sachania at Sharon.Sachania@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

 

What happens next

We will consider all the feedback we receive and review our proposals. Where possible, we may amend our plans as a result of your feedback.

 

Privacy

We will use the information you provide only for the purposes of this consultation and it will be kept confidential and stored securely in line with data protection laws. For more information about data and privacy, please see our Privacy Policy.

If you have questions about data and privacy, please email us on dataprotection@buckinghamshire.gov.uk. Or write to our Data Protection Officer at Buckinghamshire Council, The Gateway, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, HP19 8FF.

What happens next

 

 

Interests

  • Schools & education
  • Children & young people