Shropshire's SEND High Needs Review and Special Provision Capital Fund
In March 2017, the government wrote to all directors of children’s services to ask them to complete a review of high needs provision in their area.
We commissioned an external consultancy to carry out this work, which took place between October 2017 and March 2018, and included consultation and engagement with a wide range of different partners. The review process has also shaped recommendations as to how we should use the ‘Special Provision Fund’, which is £500k of additional capital funding allocated to Shropshire by the Department for Education over the next three years, for investment in provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.
In summary, having consulted with a range of stakeholders, the review has recommended that we should invest in the following:
- 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
- The review has identified four potential locations for development in the first year as follows:
- Whittington CofE (Aided) Primary School, Oswestry – ten-place provision for primary-aged learners with communication and interaction difficulties
- St Andrew’s CofE Primary School, Nesscliffe – ten-place provision for primary-aged learners with communication and interaction difficulties
- Community College, Bishops Castle – 20-place provision for secondary-aged learners with communication and interaction difficulties
- Oldbury Wells School, Bridgenorth – 20-place provision for secondary-aged learners with communication and interaction difficulties
- Final decisions about location will be made taking into account the outcome of statutory consultation and feasibility studies
- Further proposals will follow to cover other areas of Shropshire in years 2 and 3 (sooner if possible)
- A range of other recommendations are also made, including developing SEN support to provide early intervention for pupils with mental health needs, and stimulating the development of high quality independent provision through the development of a market position statement
- The review also recommends that preparatory work is carried out to develop a bid for a new special school for learners with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs with associated social communication difficulties, in readiness for the Department for Education’s expected announcement of a new round of free school funding
The full plan and its appendices are presented here: