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New provision for SEND students well on track

Eleven schemes already started to admit pupils

Head teacher outside new building

Ambitious plans to develop local provision for children with special educational needs (SEND) across the county are well on track.

Planning, building and refurbishment work at 15 new ‘resource bases’ is continuing across the summer months as part of the county council’s commitment to invest over £30m in SEND and create almost 700 extra places, some of which have already opened for the start of the academic year.

The ‘ resource bases’ will cater for pupils with communication and interaction needs (C &I) which includes ASC (Autism Spectrum Condition) or social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH).

Selected schools in towns such as Loughborough, Melton, Hinckley and, Ashby are either having existing space refurbished, or extensions built.

Members will also be advised of the intention to create a new 50 place SEMH school to open in September 2020 on the site of the current Oakfield Short Stay School in Blaby, which is being moved to new purpose-made locations in the north and south of the county.

A new 80-place communication and interaction school in Barwell is also expected to open in September 2020.

This is a challenging and ambitious programme of works and we’re pleased that everything is progressing really well. We know that parents are already taking a keen interest in the new provision, which has the other tremendous benefit of being entirely geared around local placements. We're very appreciative of the support being given by schools to help us achieve our goals.

The county council is also progressing the expansion of all six existing Leicestershire special schools. 

The encouraging progress being made is highlighted in a report being discussed by Cabinet next week which also outlines that the High Needs Block continues to face financial challenges with a current overspend of around £6m.

The report also outlines that projections predict a 22 per cent increase in demand for SEND provision over the next five years with a 52 per cent rise in the number of Education, Health and Care plans over the past six years.

Cabinet members will also consider a recommendation to consult in the near future with county schools on the proposed transfer of up to 0.5 per cent of budgets for both mainstream schools and academies into High Needs funding to help manage the budget position.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 22nd  at 2pm, the meeting will be shown live at



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