SEND Strategic Review 2017-18

Review of Provision for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Devon County Council carries out an annual review of education provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. This started in 2017 and we plan to do it every year, in accordance with Devon’s SEND Strategy and implementation plan.

In November 2017, Devon County Council invited young people, parents and providers to complete surveys as part of this strategic review of SEN provision.

We aimed to get up to date, comprehensive feedback, to inform options for service development and improvement. The scope of the Review relates to SEND provision for those children/young people with a Statement or Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP).

Devon County Council endorsed the SEND Strategic Review at its Cabinet Meeting on 14th March.

Special Provision Plan 2017-18 (DfE Template)

Review of SEND Provision 2017-18 – Final Report

You said, we did 

Special Capital Fund Summary 2017-18

Engagement Report

  • These recommendations have been taken straight from the Cabinet report. The Implementation Plan is coming soon and will address these recommendations with actions.

    Recommendation 1:

    A detailed review of the challenges around learners with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH) is required to provide a system wide approach, in particular supporting mainstream schools. However, in the short term, there is a need to increase SEMH Special School provision including provision in North Devon, Marland Day and Barley Lane in Exeter.


    The review has clearly demonstrated that supporting learners whose primary needs is SEMH cuts across all areas whether it be in terms of base numbers, growth, exclusions or use of the Independent Sector. It is clear additional special school places are required particularly in North Devon. Proposals should not only focus on providing places but developing outreach support for other schools

    Recommendation 2

    New/additional special school provision needs to be operational in Tiverton (Charlton Lodge) for September 2019 to support high functioning 11-16 year old learners with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)as well as a small provision to support student with mental health/medical challenges preventing them from accessing mainstream education. This will potentially require a Free School Presumption statutory process, which will require Cabinet endorsement to proceed, and a commitment to commission places.


    Provision will support the high functioning learners who may otherwise require Independent provision to meet their educational needs. Provision is also located in an area where a large number of students travel to access their provision. The provision of medical places will reduce learners within Alternative Provision and offer outreach support.

    Recommendation 3

    Devon needs to continue to strategically support new special school provision in Newton Abbot, Glendinning Special School, which will create additional capacity for learners with Autistic Spectrum Condition aged 11-19.


    Provision will reduce the need to commission places from other Local Authorities and provide education in an area where currently large numbers of students have to travel to access provision. It will also provide access to provision for high functioning learners and as such reduce the potential use of the Independent Sector, and secure an alternative post 16 offer. The Free School programme is centrally funded and therefore reduces the impact on Devon’s limited capital funding.

    Recommendation 4

    Develop proposals at the new amalgamated Ratcliffe / Oakland School to increase capacity and develop proposals to support post-16 learners where Further Education is not a suitable educational offer.


    Additional places will meet increasing demand for Special Schools places as well as provide n alternative post 16 offer/pathway.

    Recommendation 5

    A capital fund is made for schools to match fund against, targeted at strategically supporting learners in school, in particular in areas of high deprivation/need.


    With constraints on funding at school level, it is important schools have an opportunity to put forward proposals that will support them in meeting learners’ needs. It is anticipated these resources will improve outcomes for learners and ensure they can benefit from the curriculum opportunities in a mainstream/maintained special school.

    Recommendation 6

    Start consultation (where necessary), on the future of a number of Support Centres as highlighted below:

    CAIRBTivertonCastle Primary (Tiverton)No Changerecommission
    CAIRBBarnstapleNewport Primary (Barnstaple)No Change
    CAIRBTavistockTavistock Community PrimaryClosure proposed for 2020, explore new provisionSchool served notice on the local authority. Discussions ongoing about whether there is another host school in the area. If alternative host identified, children would be relocated.
    CAIRBIvybridgeManor Primary (Ivybridge)No Changerecommission
    CAIRBAshburtonSouth Dartmoor School (Ashburton)No Changerecommission
    CAIRBTivertonTiverton High SchoolNo Changerecommission
    CAIRBBarnstaplePilton Community College (Barnstaple)No Changerecommission
    Physical disabilityBarnstaplePilton Community CollegeNo Changerecommission
    Speech and languageBarnstapleOrchard Vale PrimaryConsult on Closure 2019No children currently on roll and lack of parental choice/preference due to location. Equity of provision and need to support learners in local school rather than bespoke centre.
    Speech and languageExeterNewtown PrimaryConsult on ClosureDue to lack of demand and equity of provision, parents’ concern of travel distance for KS1 students. Services to support children in their local school being developed.
    Specific Learning DifficultiesCreditonQueen Elizabeth Community CollegeConsult on Closure 2019Equity of service, only students in locality have benefited from provision. Staff now providing outreach through Babcock.


    The pressures on the high needs block combined with different ways in supporting learners in their community means it is necessary to review and consult on changes to this provision, allowing limited revenue resources to meet pressures elsewhere within the High Needs Block

    Recommendation 7

    Undertake an early review of all learners with statutory plans in Alternative Provision with a view to reintegration to permanent settings as soon as practically possible.


    To ensure that students with Statutory plans are in appropriate education provision and do not stay in Alternative Provision for long periods of time.

    Recommendation 8

    Ensure the voice of parents/carers and learners informs future strategic reviews, in particular through learning from annual EHCP reviews and the engagement workstream of the SEND Strategy.


    To maximise the opportunity for direct feedback from those with statutory plans, to identify common issues and themes for improvement.

    Recommendation 9

    Develop a more detailed Post- 19 strategy and localised offer in partnership with Special  Schools and FE providers, including piloting an offer through the new provision at Bodley House in Exeter which forms a part of Ellen Tinkham School.


    To ensure there is an appropriate, local offer for post 19 students that t supports them into adulthood and independence including pathways into employment. To reduce, where appropriate, the use of the Independent Sector and high cost placements funded from the High Needs Block.

    Recommendation 10

    A detailed review of learners where Special Schools cannot meet needs is undertaken alongside the high cost learners in the Independent sector to develop alternative commissioning solutions as well as ensuring new provision can meet the gaps in current provision.


    To ensure, where possible, there is a local offer for learners and that new provision is aligned to meet these learners needs. Analysis will inform future commissioning of places including negotiating bespoke packages with maintained special school providers. Analysis should reduce the number of places commissioned from the Independent Sector.

  • Detailed action plans will be drawn up to address the recommendations contained in this Strategic Review.
    Monitoring of the Action Plan will be undertaken by the Council’s Education Leadership Team and reported to the SEND Improvement Board.
    Further Strategic Reviews of Provision will be undertaken annually, as required by the SEND Strategy and Implementation Plan.

DfE guidance on SEND Capital Funding for pupils with EHC Plans.
Devon Education Infrastructure Plan 2016-2033