Option 1

Continue providing residential for post 16 students but with placements being agreed based on the child or young person’s assessed social care needs

Benefits summary

North Yorkshire would retain residential post 16 provision for young people with MLD/SLD/ASD who have been assessed as needing this.   As a result, young people with these needs would continue to be able to be educated and grow up in their local area.  Commissioned places under the current model cost significantly less than the alternative of independent / out of authority placements.

In commissioning places based on children and young people’s needs rather than as a 6th form offer the forecasted reduction of places is likely to result in savings for the SEND High Needs block as the numbers continue to fall.  

Risks summary

If this option was taken the forecast is a drop in numbers over the next 3 years to approximately 6 young people needing residential provision whilst undertaking the post 16 course as shown in 4.2 above.

Numbers of places commissioned according to need are likely to decline with a negative financial implication for the wider school setting.  This could present serious viability questions for the school even if day places were increased if there was demand.

Families and students who are currently day pupils at Welburn and expecting to move into residential placement post 16 may not meet the criteria.  This may result in a challenge for alternative higher cost residential placement or further demand on DCS / HAS services. However there is limited evidence within EHCPs that residential provision is as a requirement of assessed and evidenced needs.


Option 2

Cease residential provision, phasing out by not commissioning any further places from September 2022 – residential will have ceased by Sept 2024, numbers will naturally decline over this period as each cohort leaves.

Benefits summary

This may support the school to become more financially viable – however this is not guaranteed, as there is likely to be costs involved to maintain the facilities currently used for residential provision.  Further detailed financial analysis of this scenario would be required in order to identify clearly any potential financial benefits to the school.

Risks summary

No maintained residential provision in North Yorkshire for ASD / SLD.

Any young person requiring this provision would need an independent / out of county placement;  this is likely to mean that they are educated away from their local area and family.  These placements will be of high cost to the authority, however this is not forecast to be additional to current costs given the potential savings in ceasing residential provision entirely and under 16s already part of current independent / out of authority spend.

As residential numbers decline the school is likely to need to be supported financially in order to be able to continue the provision for the final cohorts.  To mitigate this there would be the opportunity to look at increased numbers of day pupils.

If the residential offer was to cease completely the school would need to consider the best use of the current residential accommodation.  This may involve significant capital works to change the use of the rooms affected.