Issue - meetings

High Needs – Proposed new arrangement for helping children and young people with additional needs to learn and succeed

Meeting: 30/01/2019 - Cabinet (Item 9)

9 High Needs pdf icon PDF 148 KB

To seek Cabinet approval of proposed new arrangements for helping children and young people with additional needs.  

Additional documents:

Decision:

Having considered all of the information, including known proposals, alternative options and reasons for the recommendations, Cabinet noted the report and

 

RESOLVED to: -

 

Cabinet is recommended to:

 

1.    Approve the Joint Strategy for Children and Young People with Additional Needs, including Special Educational Needs (SEND).

2.    Agree the strategic approach to high needs set out in para 3.2.

3.    Apply the Education Risk Reserve (£500,000) to invest in the development of ‘hubs’ in the primary sector.

4.    Agree to prioritise £200,000 p.a. funding for Restorative Practice from the 2019/20 High Needs budget with a full evaluation to be carried out jointly with the Schools Forum after the first year.

5.    Agree the principles outlined for the Specialist Commissioning Strategy and Post 16 SEND Strategy and authorise the Director of Education, in consultation with the Lead Cabinet member for Economy Skills and Growth, to consult on the strategies upon completion.

Minutes:

Cllr Richard Boyles, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, sought approval of new arrangements proposed to provide support to children with additional needs.

 

Cllr Boyles outlined the need to adopt a new approach to assist children with ‘high needs’, (children who need extra help because they have learning difficulties or struggle with school for a range of different reasons). He stated that, in general, education outcomes for children in Gloucestershire exceeded the national average. However, the education system was not working well for some children with ‘high needs’. The number of children relying on Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) for support had increased rapidly, (a 47% increase since 2015 and the introduction of the SEND reforms), and the progress of children with additional needs was not as good as that of other children.

 

The ‘Joint Strategy for Children and Young People with Additional Needs’ was developed with input from partners, families, schools, health and social care. The Strategy replaces the county’s SEND strategy and sets out the county’s vision to develop and provide services to achieve positive outcomes for children with additional needs. Building on from the strategy, a major high needs consultation was launched in June 2018, from which a number of strategic aims and delivery plan were developed, including;

 

Strategic aims:

 

  • An inclusive education system characterised by effective early intervention and supported by a skilled workforce able to access specialist support
  • High quality specialist provision available locally for those that need it
  • Sustainable budget

 

The aims to be delivered through:

 

  • Primary hubs with devolved funding and co-commissioned support services, linked to parent support networks
  • Investment in Restorative Practice
  • New approaches to exclusions in secondary schools (details dependent on government announcements)
  • Specialist commissioning strategy
  • Post-16 Strategy
  • Changes to the EHCP process
  • Stronger partnership with Schools Forum
  • Focus on transition from Early Years settings to primary school.

 

Setting out the recommendations, Cllr Boyles emphasised the detrimental impact to the Council from the high volume of exclusions the County was currently experiencing before urging Cabinet to approve the Joint Additional Needs Strategy for Children and Young People with Additional Needs, including Special Educational Needs, and the strategic approach to high needs, (set out at section 3.2. of the decision report). It was noted that action would be taken if the excessive number of exclusions continued.

 

Having considered all of the information, including known proposals, alternative options and reasons for the recommendations, Cabinet noted the report and

 

RESOLVED to: -

 

Cabinet is recommended to:

 

1.    Approve the Joint Strategy for Children and Young People with Additional Needs, including Special Educational Needs (SEND).

2.    Agree the strategic approach to high needs set out in para 3.2.

3.    Apply the Education Risk Reserve (£500,000) to invest in the development of ‘hubs’ in the primary sector.

4.    Agree to prioritise £200,000 p.a. funding for Restorative Practice from the 2019/20 High Needs budget with a full evaluation to be carried out jointly with the Schools Forum after the first year.

5.    Agree the principles  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9