Consultation on SEND funding

Our proposed approach to SEND funding

Consultation closed: 5pm on 29 June 2018

Funding will be made available every year for three years.

It is proposed that the first round of funding will be invested in each of Central Bedfordshire’s four special schools.

These are:

  • Ivel Valley Special School, Biggleswade
  • Chiltern Special School, Dunstable
  • Weatherfield Academy, Dunstable
  • Oak Bank Academy, Leighton Buzzard

We are proposing to focus our attention on these schools first because they are over capacity.

It is proposed that the second and third year of funding will be invested in mainstream provision and other settings.

Some children in mainstream schools are in fact waiting for places at the special schools. Creating more space and places at the special schools will have a small knock-on benefit for some mainstream schools where SEND pupils can move to the special school they need.

We are, of course, aware that other settings also support children and young people with special education needs and disabilities. 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 are also looking at investing next year's 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.

Proposals

From our analysis, to date, we believe that the greatest immediate need is for creating additional classroom spaces at Ivel Valley and Chiltern special schools. There is also need for additional space for the nursing service at Ivel Valley, to support their work and ensure greater privacy for children in clinics, so we propose to investigate the potential to create additional space for a medical suite.

Our proposals are to:

  • provide two temporary double classrooms at Ivel Valley Special School to increase capacity
  • create a medical suite at Ivel Valley Special School, which will also free up existing meeting space to be used for supporting children and their families
  • make some changes internally and add a new modular building to Chiltern Special School. This will increase the number of pupils with more complex needs, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, that can be accommodated in the school
  • create one additional classroom at Weatherfield Academy to cater for a greater number of children with more significant needs and to place children in classrooms according to their needs
  • adapt an existing classroom at Oak Bank Academy and add a modular classroom to ensure that there is more suitable accommodation for Key Stage 5/Post 16 pupils. This will mean that the current accommodation can be refurbished and used to support students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • to investigate further where the next two years of funding could best be used to improve SEND provision in mainstream schools