SEND sufficiency consultation

We must ensure there are enough good schools places for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The government has set aside £215m of capital funding nationally for children with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans to:

  • Create new (additional) places at good or outstanding provision
  • Improve facilities or develop new facilities

Our allocation is £2.7m split over the next three years.

We have produced a needs analysis to understand current pressures in provision for children with EHC plans. This is telling us that an ambitious plan is needed to meet current demand.

We have received feedback from a wide range of sources already including:

  • Families and practitioners
  • Leaders across education, health and social care
  • Family Voice Norfolk
  • Feedback through the Local Offer

This is telling us:

  • Some parents and carers do not feel confident their child’s needs can be met in mainstream settings
  • Many mainstream educational settings feel unable to deliver the SEND provision needed to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND. This is particularly the case for:
    • Children with learning difficulties with associated other complex needs such as; speech and language need, neurodevelopmental conditions, social, emotional and mental health needs
    • Children who have broadly average or above average cognitive ability but who have autistic spectrum conditions. Or those without a diagnosis but with social or communication needs
    • Children who have broadly average or above average cognitive ability but who have other neurodevelopmental difficulties. For example, ADHD or attachment difficulties
    • Children who have broadly average or above cognitive ability but who have social, emotional, mental health difficulties. Particularly those which result in behaviour which harms either themselves or others
  • There are not enough special school places or specialist provision within mainstream schools, for children with the types of needs described above
  • With more specialist provision located within mainstream settings, we would be able to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND better

We are experiencing ongoing and increasing pressure on our funding for SEND. Our funding comes from the high needs block of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG). It helps pay the costs for children with or without EHC plans, as well as funding specialist services and special educational provision for children educated in mainstream settings.

We do not have enough funding to continue to grow SEND provision without investing in early intervention and specialist provision in mainstream schools. It is important that wherever possible, children are educated in mainstream settings that have high quality specialist provision that can meet their needs well. 

If we develop provision across the entire range of educational settings, eventually we will be able to return to a financially sustainable position. 

Capital funding over the next three years as described above, is only for capital, i.e. buildings. It does not contribute to the running costs of setting up any new provision. Therefore funding for running costs must be found from existing budgets that are already under significant financial pressure.

Because Norfolk is only being given a small amount of national capital funding over the next three years, we will only be able to address a very small number of priorities.

We asked anyone with an interest in Norfolk’s early years, school or post 16 educational provision for children with EHC plans for their views, including professionals across the education, health and social care landscape, and parents, carers and young people.

We published a summary of the survey results and created a special provision plan. The plans details how the money will be spent. Visit SEND provision capital funding for further information.

The special provision plan detailing how money will be spent, will be updated in March each year.

In the summer 2018, we will also be publishing our sufficiency strategy and plan.This will set out a broader and more ambitious plan for specialist provision for children with SEN and disabilities. The consultation will help to inform this strategy. 

Norfolk is anticipating that our need for capital and revenue investment will exceed the funding that is being made available by central government. This plan will set out our priorities to transform the education landscape in Norfolk for children with EHC plans.

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