Schools which could house 15 new bases for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are now being identified, with the proposals to be considered by the county council's cabinet next week.
The council has published the list of mainstream schools which could host the specialist units, also known as ‘enhanced resource bases’. They would either cater for pupils with communication and interaction needs (C &I) or social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH), which includes ASD.
The plans form part of the council’s commitment to invest up to £20m in improving SEND provision in Leicestershire.
Subject to Cabinet approval, selected schools in areas such as Loughborough, Hinckley, Wigston, Syston and Ashby would either have existing space refurbished, or extensions built. It is expected that the first of the new bases could open this September, and the others would follow next year.
We are pleased that we are moving forward with these ambitious plans. There is already a range of quality provision in the county for children with SEND.
However, we need to significantly increase provision to accommodate the increase in demand. The new provisions would provide a good geographical spread across Leicestershire which should not only ease pressure on our budgets but should also mean that families will have more support available, often closer to home.
Our consultation on how the new provisions should look, feel and operate alongside mainstream and / or special schools is live until March 31, so if you’d like to have your say and haven’t yet, now is the time.
Person:Ivan Ould, cabinet for children and families
Earlier this month, the Department for Education announced it would fund the building of a new special free school at the Iveshead campus in Shepshed.
The council is also proposing to expand five of its six special schools, which includes creating a new block for post-16 Maplewell School pupils on the Charnwood College campus in Loughborough.
When it meets, next Friday (29 March), the cabinet will consider next steps, including agreeing to the issuing of statutory notices for the development of those additional SEND places located in maintained schools.
Parents in the process of securing a specialist placement for their child, subject to an education, care and health plan (EHCP) being in place, may wish to consider the new SEND resource bases proposed. They are encouraged to contact their local SEN officer or the wider team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0116 305 6600
More information on the council’s SEND provision consultation is available at: www.leicestershire.gov.uk/send-consultation
The proposals will be discussed by the cabinet next Friday (29 March) at 11am. Watch the meeting online at www.leicestershire.gov.uk/webcast