Crucial to the successful delivery of our partnership Strategy and Improvement Plan is having the right high needs provision in place. All councils have to review their provision for children and young people with SEND and put in place a strategic plan.
Our analysis of specialist school places for children and young people with an EHCP shows that the need for places continues to increase. Local special schools are already at capacity, and as a result some children and young people are needing to be placed in Independent and Non-Maintained Special Schools (INMSS) placements.
Based on this analysis and detailed work with local schools, some initial plans have been developed which will deliver 150 new places in satellite schools – schools managed by special schools but co-located with mainstream schools, and resource bases – dedicated provision within mainstream schools.
As a Council we have high aspirations for children and young people with SEND, striving to ensure children and young people achieve their potential and experience inclusion in every aspect of their lives.
To deliver this vision, the Council is investing in children and young people with SEND through the provision of up to an additional £10 million capital investment in our schools, from April 2021, funded from borrowing, to ensure that children and young people in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have the best environment and settings to maximise their learning potential. This is in addition to the funds received from the Department for Education and previously committed funds.
The delivery of capital works in 2020 was delayed as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. Further work is being undertaken now by the Council and schools to develop proposals to increase capacity in the local system. More information will be available in September 2021.