About the Local Offer

News and updates for families with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Central Bedfordshire

The latest updates about services, events and information for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND.)

This page was last updated on 28 May 2019.

SEND Capital Funding

What is SEND Capital Funding?

The Department for Education (DfE) has allocated £1.6million of funding to Central Bedfordshire – as part of a national scheme. The funding is allocated over three years; £549,727 each year starting last year (2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21). The money is termed as ‘SEND Capital Funding’, which means it can only be used to invest in adapting or expanding buildings and facilities – for good and outstanding local authorities only.

In May 2018 the DfE announced an additional allocation for Central Bedfordshire of £383,530 and in December 2018 the DfE made a further top up of £767,061.  Central Bedfordshire has received a total allocation of £2,799,772 to be committed on SEND Capital Funding by 2020/21.

What can SEND Capital Funding be used for?

The funding can be used to improve special provision for children and young people with education, health and care (EHC) plans. Support for special education needs and disabled (SEND) children is provided in a variety of settings, for example special schools, mainstream schools, early years settings and further education colleges. Some Central Bedfordshire children also access support in schools outside of the Central Bedfordshire border.

Our approach

Last year we consulted on our proposed approach for using the SEND Capital Funding. We proposed to invest the 2018/19 money in improving provision within our special schools. As part of this consultation, we also asked about how we should use the future years of funding.

A key principle within our SEND strategy is to support the inclusion of young people with SEND in our mainstream schools, where possible. So, we proposed to invest future funding in SEND provision in mainstream schools. This could include what potential there is for inclusive spaces within mainstream schools, for those with a high percentage of students with EHC plans. This could be in the form of break-out spaces, to provide time away from the main classroom and alleviate stress or anxiety for children with additional needs. Over half (57%) of the consultation respondents agreed with this approach.

Last year there were no funds awarded to mainstream school or mainstream schools with Additional SEND Resources, pre-schools or colleges. Express of interests can be submitted by all types of provisions detailed in the DfE guidance.

How to apply for SEND Capital Funding

Schools/education settings are welcome to apply for SEND Capital Funding - if your education setting is interested in applying for the latest tranche of funding, please follow the steps below:

Expression of interest

Schools/education settings may express their interest in funding via an Expression of Interest form. The form will include further questions which will determine under what grounds your education setting will meet criteria, providing a bid overview. Schools must indicate the number and percentage of children that have EHC plans within their setting. Expression of Interest forms must be submitted to school.organisation@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk no later than midday on Friday 15 March 2019 and please ensure that the subject line states ‘SEND Capital Funding’


Following this, the Expression of Interest forms will be shortlisted in terms of priority. Shortlisting will take place on Wednesday 20 March 2019 at the Central Bedfordshire SEND Capital Board. The board will consist of the following representatives - Head of SEND, Head of School Organisation & Capital Planning, Schools Programme Manager, Transformation Project Manager, Special school representation, Mainstream school representation, Early Years SEND Manager and SNAP Parent Carer Forum. If your setting/school is shortlisted, you will be notified and required to complete a more detailed business case by Friday 3 May 2019. There will be no right to appeal this decision.

Consultation on the proposals

This is now available for your views.

Final decision on funding allocation

A final decision will be made following the outcome of the summer consultation as to how the additional SEND Capital Funds will be allocated.

Updated proposals by 31 May 2019

Central Bedfordshire’s short term funding plan can be viewed.

Final submission to DfE

Once consultation has been completed, the final plan can be found with the outcome of the consultation link.

Further information and guidance

Further information on SEND Capital Funding can be found at the Department for Education (DfE) website.

If you have any queries regarding SEND Capital Funding in Central Bedfordshire, please contact: school.organisation@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Managing Demand in SEND

As advised in November, the High Needs Block project is made up of seven workstreams:

  1. Restorative Practice in 12 middle schools and one upper school
  2. Special School Early Intervention Outreach - an extension of services to encompass a range of special educational needs, intervening earlier
  3. Development of identification, assessment and provision for children and young people with underlying speech, language and communication needs (S&LT)
  4. Whole school approach for targeted lower and primary schools (six identified) to developing sense of safety and security, thus improving overall emotional resilience and behaviour (Mind Map)
  5. Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) inclusion support from JigsawTeam for Years 7 and 8
  6. Targeted Early Years support for reception aged children to support transition into school
  7. Theraplay support in agreed schools

The Special School Early Intervention Outreach is live, with the two Area Special Schools offering an extended range of support by working collaboratively with mainstream schools to build capacity and confidence.

This workstream is focused on supporting children with communication and interaction difficulties and/or learning needs including, but not exclusively, ASD.

The Early Intervention Outreach Team aims to support schools in meeting the needs of pupils with more complex educational needs. The team will facilitate staff development to build a school’s capacity to meet the needs of a wider range of pupils. The team draws from the expertise within our Area Special Schools and is offered to schools across Central Bedfordshire.

To make a referral into this workstream, schools should be able to evidence two cycles of support given by the school, using the cycle Assess/Plan/Do/Review (see Central Bedfordshire Council's Guidance on SEND 5-16: A Graduated Approach).

Please download the referral form by clicking below:

Managing Demand in SEND training update

‘We are delighted to announce the free of charge training opportunities for the summer term, available to book via CPD Online - full details in this flyer.

Disability benefits form-filling workshop at the Disability Resource Centre, Dunstable

The Disability Resource Centre offer free Disability Benefits workshops that are designed to help you complete your PIP (personal independence payment) or AA (attendance allowance) claim form.

The workshops run most Mondays at The Disability Resource Centre with a maximum of 8 claimants in each session:

When: most Mondays from 9:30am to 12:30pm

Where: The Disability Resource Centre, Poynters House, Poynters Road, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU5 4TP

Cost: Free

For more information and to book your place call the Disability Resource Centre on 01582 470970 or visit the Disability Resource Centre website for more details.

Autism Bedfordshire

Autism Bedfordshire is the only voluntary organisation in Bedfordshire that is specialised in supporting autistic adults and children. With over 25 years of first-hand experience, Autism Bedfordshire is a leading provider of high quality autism training throughout Bedfordshire and beyond.

The organisation have developed a comprehensive range of quality, specialist training packages suitable for anyone wanting to increase their understanding of autism and knowledge of strategies to support individuals. Where practical, training is delivered in partnership with autistic guest speakers who offer their unique personal perspective of life on the spectrum.

Autism Bedfordshire have a rolling programme of training events.

You can also contact Autism Bedfordshire via email at training@autismbeds.org or by telephone 01234 214871.