Brighter Futures For Children, Reading
Capital Fund Plan to support development of Specialist Education Provision for Children & Young People with Education, Health & Care Plans (EHCPs)
Capital Fund Plan - May 2019
The Government has committed some funding to support local authorities to invest in provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) aged 0 – 25 to improve the quality and range of provision available to the local authority. It is intended for children and young people with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) for whom the local authority is responsible.
Page Updated - February 2021
Reading has been allocated £1,394,010 over 3 years (payments are made in installments subject to conditions being met)
How can it be used?
Local Authorities can invest their share of this fund in:
- Creating new (additional ) places at good or outstanding provision
- Improving facilities or developing new facilities
This can be through:
- Expansion to existing provision including at the same site or a different site.
- Reconfiguring provision to make available the space for the additional places or facilities.
- Repurposing areas so that they meet the needs of pupils with SEND.
- Other capital transactions that result in new (additional) places or facilities’ improvements.
- Investing in provision that is located in another local authority where this supports providing good outcomes for children in their area
Government requirements to meet in order to access the funding
Before receiving the funding local authorities need to
- Consult with parents and carers of children with SEND and young people with SEND.
- Work with education providers to agree how the capital can best be targeted.
- Fill in a short plan template. Publish a plan on our Local Offer page.
In consultation with the SEND Strategy Board which includes parent / carer representatives we have agreed where the money should be allocated and completed the template provided . This is published on the Local Offer. As part of the SEND Strategy work the views of parent carers and young people attending some of our current specialist provisions have been sought, and have influenced our recommendations.
The Strategy was approved through the ACE Committee in July 2017, and has been endorsed by members of the health and Wellbeing Board. The SEND Strategy can be found by clicking on this link. The Board has working groups, all of which have Parents Carer Forum and school representatives on. Meetings are held regularly with broader groups of parent carers and Special United (our young people’s forum) organised through Reading Families Forum and through schools. Schools Forum and heads and governors groups are updated regularly, and Schools Forum approved the proposals for the development of specialist provision, and expressions of interest from schools to deliver this provision has been sought.
- This fund will support delivery of Reading’s SEND Strategy.
- A data set has been developed to help inform priorities for action in delivering this strategy. This has included analysis of children currently accessing education out of the area due to gaps in local provision, and the development of a SEND place planning tool.
- The Strategy Board approved the recommendation for use of the Grant at its meeting in April 2019.
Priorities for development and consultation processes
- We have identified pressure on places at the Avenue Special School and agreed an additional 25 places for 2018/2019 and 25 places for 2019/2020. Accommodation continues to be expanded to support this.
- We have expanded provision to provide additional places at Blessed Hugh Faringdon school for secondary specialist provision places for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Condition. The building is now complete.
- We have undertaken a review of specialist provision and SEND projects in Reading and have agreed proposals to develop more local provision for primary aged children with social and communication difficulties, including Autism. We are in the process of commissioning this provision and this will be subject to a statutory consultation process.
- We have identified that a number of pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs are going to school out of area partly due to the site of Phoenix School and partly due the fact that their accommodation is not currently suitable for girls. The improvement of facilities and site for this group of pupils continues to be seen as the main priority for this grant, and options are being developed for the delivery of this.
- The SEND Strategy Board considers the options and information and determines the next steps for development and consultation. Formal consultations will be approved through the ACE Committee.