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The Children and Families Act 2014 sets out a statutory duty for local authorities to keep provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) under review, in order to ensure that the provision reflects and addresses local needs.
In October 2017 we commissioned a comprehensive review of our high-needs provision as part of the Specialist Provision StrategicReview and Development Plan which made a number of recommendations as to how additional capital funding available from the Department for Education should be invested.
The report highlighted that there are particular gaps for learners who are academically able to access some aspects of the national curriculum but who may struggle with some of the environmental and/or social aspects of mainstream school life. The analysis strongly suggests that the key priorities should be:
The development of specialist provision attached to mainstream schools in order to meet the needs of complex learners - particularly those with communication and interaction difficulties - enabling them to be educated closer to home
These provisions could be either mainstream school led (known as resourced provision) or special school led but based on mainstream school sites – (known as satellite provision).
In accordance with The School Organisation (Making Prescribed Alterations) Regulations 2016, the local authority, Shropshire Council, proposes to establish a resource provision at Whittington CE Primary School and offer up to ten places for primary aged learners with communication and interaction difficulties (including autism spectrum conditions) from the autumn term 2018, subject to the completion of any required building works.
A four-week representation period of consultation will run from 2 July 2018 until 29 July 2018. A final decision will be made following the end of the consultation period, taking into account all representations and comments made during the consultation period.
Any person may make comments or object to the proposals by writing to Resourced Provision Consultation, Whittington CE Primary School, Station Road, Whittington, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 4DA or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
All schools were approached by us some time ago and asked if they would consider hosting resourced provision.
Mr Carl Rogers, headteacher of Whittington CE Primary School expressed an interest in this provision saying: “As Headteacher of Whittington CE Primary School, I am very excited about the possibility of developing specialist provision within our school. Because of our excellent reputation and wealth of experience, I believe that we are ideally suited to support the local authority's plan to develop high needs provision attached to mainstream primary schools.
Our vision is that every child in our community is able to live life in all its fullness through the quality of education that they receive. At Whittington CE Primary School we provide children with a toolkit for life. We are passionate about the development of the ‘whole person’ and preparing our learners for an ever-changing world. We are relentlessly committed to helping everyone in our community to meet their potential, to raising their aspiration and to helping them to find their special talents.
The planned provision will not only allow us to improve the quality of our offer for children with complex needs, but to improve the quality of our offer for all of the children in our school.”
Having established the school’s willingness to participate in the project, this consultation document is about turning the school’s commitment from a vision into a reality.
This document marks the start of a genuine and open consultation process. We would like as many people as possible with an involvement or interest in the school, or in primary education in the area more generally, to contribute their thoughts on what should happen.
To have your say, click on the 'How to get involved tab' on this page to access a short survey.
Resourced provision for children with communication and interaction difficulties (including autism spectrum conditions) in Shropshire
We've made a long and successful commitment to inclusive and high quality education for pupils with special educational needs. We continue to make available the highest levels of inclusive mainstream provision to pupils of all ages in comparison with other local authorities in England.
In an effort to extend the range of inclusive learning opportunities for pupils, we intend to develop a network of additionally resourced provision at mainstream and academy primary and secondary schools throughout Shropshire.
For more information on resourced provision take a look at the Specialist Provision Strategic Review and Development Plan under 'Shropshire's SEND High Needs Review and Special Provision Capital Fund' on our website.
We believe that these developments will, through the inclusion of pupils with a wider range of special educational needs, enhance the learning opportunities of all pupils by:
Enrichment of the curriculum through social awareness and community responsibility
Developing the quality and skills of the staff
Improving the buildings and offering better facilities
Inclusive learning expectations
We recognise that our policy of establishing a network of resourced schools is, by its very nature, less inclusive than making provision in each and every local mainstream school. The rationale for this policy centres on the lack of expertise, specialist support and resources to be able to offer suitably enhanced provision in every school. Resourced schools are seen as a key development in extending the range of provision available to pupils across Shropshire.
Our ultimate aim is to reach a position where all schools can meet the needs of all pupils, regardless of the complexity of their needs. However, for the learners identified, the siting of skills, resources and expertise within a resourced mainstream or academy school is a way of achieving a position that is close to the inclusive ideal that we strive for.
By developing resourced provision within selected schools in the county, we believe that we're enhancing the range of provision for children and parents in Shropshire. Furthermore, we consider that this strategic response:
Meets the continuing needs of pupils in the area
Fulfils our responsibilities to parents and families to provide a range of local services
Enriches opportunities for all pupils
Complies with the legislation set in the Children and Families Act 2014.
What's most important for pupils is that they're educated in a supportive educational environment which offers the opportunity for inclusive learning. This should take place in a school that is willing to adapt to the needs of the individual, rather than expecting the individual to cope with what is provided for others.
Considering the possibility of establishing resourced provision
In order to bring about school organisation change, it's necessary to publish what are known as statutory proposals. A formal proposal to bring about a ‘prescribed alteration’ is needed to establish resourced provision at Whittington CE Primary School.
As we've explained, by developing resourced provision within Shropshire, we'll be providing a local option that extends the range of provision for pupils in the area. We feel that the case for establishing resourced provision at Whittington CE Primary School is very strong. The leadership team at Whittington CE Primary School has indicated that it feels the same way.
Your views are important and will influence the decision which is eventually taken.
The consultation period
The consultation is based on the information on this page. The consultation period starts on 2 July 2018. The final date for letting us have your thoughts and comments is 29 July 2018.
What happens after the consultation process?
Once the responses to the consultation process have been analysed, a report will be prepared for our cabinet to consider. The report will include a summary of comments received from individuals and photocopies of the responses from recognised organisations. The report will be a public document, so will be available to the media and on the school and council websites.
We'll consider the response to the consultation and form a view about what we believe to be the appropriate provision for the future. This will happen as soon as possible after the end of the consultation period.
Click on the 'How to get involved tab to have your say.
Comment on the proposal to introduce a SEND resource provision at Whittington Primary School
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