Derby City Council has developed proposals to improve school provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and to help support parents, carers and families.

The Council has an important role in championing the needs of vulnerable children in Derby, and ensuring continued inclusion of children with special needs in all of our schools in the city.

Derby’s proposed SEND improvements will help support children with special needs and their parents and carers. The Council wants to ensure that children with special needs continue to be included in our mainstream schools, enhanced resource schools, special schools and independent schools.

Proposals have been developed to make improvements to the type and number of enhanced resource school places available in the city.

In order for the Council to help and support parents, the proposals are to create transparent pupil pathways between primary and secondary enhanced resource schools so that pupils know which secondary school they are likely to go to. This is to help ensure that the transition from primary to secondary education is as smooth as possible.

The Council is also proposing to invest in school accommodation to provide enhanced resource school provision at Meadow Farm Primary School, and also to increase and improve enhanced resource school provision at The Bemrose School.

There are also proposals to update the criteria used for making placements in special schools and enhanced resource schools, and to ensure that this is transparent for parents. The overall aim is to ensure that children and young people will be offered places in local schools, near to the family home and their local community, wherever possible.

The proposals will not affect pupils already on roll at special schools or enhanced resource schools. Following the consultation period, if the proposals are given the go-ahead, they are likely apply for new placements from September 2018.

The Council will decide, at its meeting next Wednesday (4th October), whether to move forward with launching a consultation on the proposals. If approval is given, the consultation will start on Monday 6th November and will run for six weeks up until Friday 15th December.

A consultation document will be available on the Council’s website, along with details of how to get involved and next steps. The Council is also planning a number of consultation and engagement meetings with parents, carers, and schools.

Councillor Sarah Russell, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills says,

“These proposals are all about championing the needs of children across our city.  Our aim is to support children, young people and their families by ensuring that every pupil with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities attends a school that can best meet their individual needs. We also want to ensure that places are offered in local schools, as far as possible. I am really pleased that we are able to propose improvements to Derby’s specialist provision, to help support children and young people with SEND in achieving their full potential. We really look forward to receiving consultation responses.”