The LA has a statutory responsibility under the Children and Families Act 2014 to keep its special educational provision under review, to ensure sufficiency in placements to meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), working with parents/carers, young people and providers.
In line with this duty and supported by one-off funding from the Government North Yorkshire County Council is in the latter stages of reviewing provision for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) aged 0 - 25 years, and is developing a strategic plan that sets out how much provision should be made. This plan will be published in March 2018.
The Government have also committed a Special Provision Capital Fund to help local authorities improve special education provision for pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). This funding is to be used to create new (additional) places at good or outstanding provision and improving facilities or developing new facilities. The local authority is required to consult with parents/carers of children with SEND and young people with SEND and to work with education providers to agree how the capital funding can best be targeted. The local authority is required to consult with a plan to show how they intend to use the funding in advance of it being given to them. The plan has to be published on the Local Offer by 14th March 2018. North Yorkshire will receive a total of £500 000 capital funding between 2018 and 2021.
The key priority for the local authority is to ensure that there is a robust continuum of sufficient educational provision across North Yorkshire ranging from mainstream to specialist provision and that capacity and capital issues affecting the specialist estate are addressed as a matter of urgency. Working towards this priority will enable the LA to ensure that children and young people are educated in their nearest suitable school and reduce high costs of out of county placements. This is in line with the following action from 'Young and Yorkshire 2': Ensure that educational provision reflects changing need and trends so children can have their needs met locally across mainstream, specialist and alternative provision.'
As you will be aware, through September and October we have been working with parents, carers and professionals across the county to give people a chance to talk about the educational provision and support that is needed for children and young people with SEND. This input is helping us to form a strategic plan for how this is delivered across the county. This plan will be published in March 2018.
To build on feedback and ideas already put forward, we have now planned some further events for parents and carers during November 2017 (dates and locations can be found via the link below). Draft proposals, from feedback from across the county, that have been suggested for the strategic plan can now be viewed on online giving you the chance to provide feedback through an online survey. This is a further opportunity to be involved and provide feedback before formal consultation begins in early 2018.
The survey will be live on our website, at the link below, from 13th November through to the 10th December 2017. https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/send-specialist-support-and-provision.
You will have another chance to tell us what you think formally in early 2018 when we will launch a public consultation on the first draft of the strategic plan before the finalised plan is published in March 2018. We would also be grateful if you could raise the awareness of this with colleagues and parents/carers.