These recommendations have been taken straight from the Cabinet report. The Implementation Plan is coming soon and will address these recommendations with actions.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Start consultation (where necessary), on the future of a number of Support Centres as highlighted below:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.