Wiltshire Council has been awarded £1,359,723 from the Department for Education to support them in creating new places and improve facilities at existing schools for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The funding is expected to be used to develop provision for pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or a Statement of Special Education Needs in mainstream and/or special schools. Theshows how the Council proposes to spend this funding.
A new annex based at the Sarum Academy will increase capacity in the south of the county for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and/or Social, Emotional and Mental Health issues. The school opened on 4 Feb 2019.
Wiltshire Council was successful in securing a bid with the DfE to create a new commissioned special free school for ASD/SEMH in the south of the county for children and young people aged 4-19. This will provide an additional 150 places over time, to meet future demand and reduce geographic inequality of provision between north and south. This school is part of a wider programme of work.
The next stage is to invite applications from proposer groups to open the new school in Wiltshire. Please see the link below, which contains guidance, criteria and the application form for interested parties. The deadline for applications from proposer groups is midday on 30 September 2019.
The first newsletter for the special schools' project. Headteachers, governors, parent carers and Wiltshire Council officers have helped put this together to let people know what is happening.
About the Local Offer
In March 2011 the government Green Paper "Support and Aspiration" said improvement was needed to be made in the support that was given to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and their families.
Local councils must publish a Local Offer, setting out in one place information about provision they expect to be available across:
- Social care
for children and young people in their area who have SEN or are disabled, including those who do not have Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.
The Local Offer has two key purposes:
- To provide clear, comprehensive and accessible information about the support and opportunities that are available
- To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving children and young people with SEN, parents and carers, and service providers in its development and review
The process of developing the local offer is intended to help local councils to improve provision. The Local Offer is not simply a directory of existing services e.g. list of childminders, schools, activity clubs etc. Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) already provide this information which we link to.
The Local Offer aims to become a single source of information for parents, carers, children and young people aged 0-25 years.
So what does this actually mean? We will publish, in one place:
- Information in relation to education, social care and health provision for children and young people (aged 0-25 years) with SEND
- Arrangements of identifying and assessing children including how to request an assessment
- Arrangements to travel to and from schools/Early Years providers
- Support to help children and young people move between phases of education and to prepare for adulthood
- Where to go for sources of information, advice and support, forums for parents/carers, childcare and leisure activities
- Arrangements for making complaints, right to appeal
We also work with providers to support children and young people with SEND across all levels of need/support.
It is crucial that the Local Offer is developed with children, young people and parent carers. By getting this right it will enable families to make informed choices and empower them.
The key element of the Local Offer is:
- Sharing ideas and information
- Collaboration and clear communication
- Working together to improve understanding and awareness by highlighting what is available and how to access it
The development of the Local Offer through co-production establishes a sense of involvement, sharing of knowledge and expertise in a balanced approach helps to ensure key outcomes:
- Empowering parents/carers/young people with the accurate and relevant information
- Accessibility of relevant information in a suitable format
- A holistic approach - taking in to account the WHOLE person
- A transparent approach with clear information with an explanation of processes and assessment criteria
- Sustainability through a long-term approach, focusing on the needs from 0-25 and providing the support around this to ensure that the Local Offer is established
- Realistic in acknowledging the challenges faced, the needs of all those involved, setting appropriate targets and ensuring suitable time-frames whilst managing expectations
- Providing clear, consistent information in an appropriate manner. A reliable source of knowledge to improve understanding and confidence
Your feedback is important to us. If you have a comment on the Local Offer or the website itself email firstname.lastname@example.org.