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SEND Capital Programme – Phase 1 Review

In 2019 Suffolk County Council announced its plan to provide hundreds of new education placements for children with special education needs and disabilities. This is called the SEND Capital Programme. The Programme would see a total investment of £45m, from SCC and the DfE, to create at least 874 new education placements for children with SEND.  

The programme has seen the delivery of three new special schools so far, 23 new specialist units attached to mainstream schools, as well as an increase in provision across the system in already existing settings.  In total, Phase 1 of the programme has delivered 825 new specialist places across Suffolk.

The table below shows the provision of Phase 1:

 

School

Area

Profile of Need

New Places

Open

Castle EAST

North

Communication and Interaction

120

2021/22

Sir Peter Hall

West

Social, Emotional and Mental Health

80

2022/23

Woodbridge Road Academy 

South

Communication and Interaction

60

2022/23

Chalk Hill

County Wide

Social, Emotional and Mental Health and Autism

24

TBC

 

Unit

Area

Profile of Need

Key Stage

Open

Places

Beccles High

North

Cognition and Learning

KS3/4

2021/22

  18

Bungay Resource Base

North

Resource Base for Children with Hearing Loss

KS3/4

2020/21

  15

Oulton Broad

North

Specialist with expertise in Communication and Interaction

R / KS1

2022/23

  12

Pipers Vale

South  

Specialist

R / KS1

2020/21

  12

Rushmere

South

Specialist with expertise in Communication and Interaction

R / KS1

2020/21

  15

Saxmundham

South

Cognition and Learning

KS3/4

2021/22

  18

Chantry

South

Cognition and Learning

KS3/4

2021/22

  18

Murrayfield

South

Communication and Interaction

KS2

2020/21

  18

Causton

South

Communication and Interaction

KS2

2020/21

  18

Woodhall

South

Communication and Interaction

KS2

2021/22

  18

Copleston

South

Communication and Interaction

KS3/4

2021/22

  18

Saxmundham

South

Communication and Interaction

KS3/4

2021/22

  18

Burton End

West

Specialist

R / KS1

2020/21

  12

Exning

West

Specialist

R / KS1

2021/22

  12

St Edmunds

West

Specialist

R / KS1

2022/23

  12

Clements

West

Cognition and Learning

KS2

2020/21

  18

Castle Manor

West

Cognition and Learning

KS3/4

2020/21

  18

St Edmunds

West

Cognition and Learning

KS2

2021/22

  18

Mendlesham

West

Cognition and Learning

KS2

2021/22

  18

Stowupland High

West

Cognition and Learning

KS3/4

2021/22

  18

Houldsworth

West

Communication and Interaction

KS2

2020/21

  18

Ixworth

West

Communication and Interaction

KS3/4

2020/21

  18

Newmarket

West

Communication and Interaction

KS3/4

2020/21

  18

A review of Phase 1 has been carried out to demonstrate the impact of the new provision, particularly the introduction of specialist units attached to mainstream schools. This review has been carried out to support and inform the implementation of Phase 2 of the programme; to identify the impacts of these new units; determine whether the demand has been met, along with identification of any continuing or new gaps which may still be present in our specialist provision offer. Part of this review involved SCC sharing a survey with the units, the children accessing the new units and also their families.

From the survey results, it is evident that most parents are pleased with the progress their child is making and feel the unit is meeting their child’s needs. Parents feel the units are a unique education provision that sits comfortably between specialist schools and mainstream education. They like the fact that their child still has access to mainstream experiences.

The unit leads reported that the units have had a huge positive impact on their families and pupils. It is considered positive that pupils can now access suitable education closer to home and can attend the same school as their siblings and local friends. Units reported that this has had a big impact on pupils’ wellbeing and sense of belonging.

The majority of children accessing the units report that they have made friends at their new school, that they are learning and they feel comfortable in their new setting. When visiting the school one child said “Everyone thought I was bad at my old school, and I thought I just had big feelings until I found out I had autism. I now feel like I actually fit in.”

We are now ready to embark on Phase 2 of the programme. The SEND Capital Programme was taken back to Cabinet on 20 June 2022, to offer information on the impact of the developments so far and to seek approval to continue with Phase 2 of the programme. Cabinet unanimously agreed that the previously earmarked £6m will be used in order to complete Phase 2. This will see the continued growth of the new Communication and Interaction school, Castle EAST, in the North of Suffolk up to 120 places. This will also enable Suffolk to develop 3 new specialist units attached to mainstream schools.

Cabinet also agreed for SCC to return to Cabinet in October 2022 with a request for implementation of a Phase 3 of the SEND Capital Programme to continue to develop the much needed specialist provision across Suffolk. The plans for the request for Phase 3 will be identified following the review of the SEND Sufficiency Plan which is currently underway.

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