Report from the Strategic Director for Children and Young People’s Services.
1. Note the activity undertaken and progress to date on SEND Sufficiency Phase 4 including changes to the original profile of provision following the expression of interest process.
2. To formally approve 140 places at the 13 schools successful in their expression of interest to host a SEN resource base as outlined in paragraph 2.6 and limited to the High Needs Safety Valve capital allocation as outlined in paragraph 6.1 subject to Department of Education approval.
Consideration was given to the report submitted which provided an update in respect of SEND Sufficiency Phase 4 delivery of the SEND Resource base education provisions in mainstream schools following the SEND Sufficiency Phase 4 approved by Cabinet paper in October 2022.
The report detailed the key activities undertaken in completing an expression of interest process for schools to host a SEND resource base, with updates on the selection process, due diligence undertaken to date and next steps in relation to delivering the roll out of Rotherham SEND Sufficiency Strategy Phase 4.
In Rotherham there were just under 20% of pupils identified as having special education needs or disability and this included those with an Education, Health and Care Plan but also those receiving support without such a plan.
Cabinet heard that, to continue to meet the educational needs of children in Rotherham there was a responsibility to create a sufficiency of education provision to meet the needs of all pupils.
SEN resource bases were provisions attached to mainstream schools providing specialist therapeutic input and support for pupils with a specific SEND need. Pupils would be able to access mainstream classes with peers but also individual support.
The first of the planned 140 places should be available from September with the remainder available over the next two academic years. The bases would allow the Council to support parental wishes to access education in Rotherham as opposed to out of area placements where could benefit from remaining in the community they live. They also provide value for money, avoiding the need to leave to go to a specialist provision which is more expensive for the Council.
The Leader remarked that it was good news for Rotherham and that 3.3 millions pounds was being invested on the 140 places.
The Leader listed the following schools as being part of the investment: Thrybergh Academy, Winterhill Academy, Dinnington Academy, St Pius Catholic High School, Wales High, Brinsworth Academy, Dalton Foljambe, Bramley Sunnyside, Meadow View Highfield Farm, Thurcroft Junior Academy, Maltby Manor Academy, Brinsworth Whitehill.
He acknowledged that for many parents it was too difficult to access appropriate school places, right across the country and parents were given difficult decisions to make. He stated that a significant amount of money would make a difference to young people to access more appropriate education closer to their homes.
The recommendations were then proposed.
Resolved: That Cabinet:
1. Noted the activity undertaken and progress to date on SEND Sufficiency Phase 4 including changes to the original profile of provision following the expression of interest process.
2. Formally approved 140 places at the 13 schools successful in their expression of interest to host a SEN resource base as outlined in paragraph 2.6 and limited to the High Needs Safety Valve capital allocation as outlined in paragraph 6.1 subject to Department of Education approval.