Consultation on the future of residential provision at Welburn Hall School


Consultation outcomes report





We have developed this document to share the outcomes of the consultation on the future of residential provision at Welburn Hall School. The consultation took place between 14th October 2021 and 2nd December 2021.


1.0  What did we consult on?


1.1 In North Yorkshire we want all children and young people with SEND to:


1.2  We know that there are more children and young people being identified as having special educational needs in North Yorkshire and we expect this increase to continue. We need to make sure that we have the right type of education provision in the right place to meet their needs. We know that a number of our children and young people have to go to school outside North Yorkshire, and we want to avoid this wherever possible.


1.3 Our consultation focused on the future of residential provision at Welburn Hall School.


1.4 Please note this consultation has now closed, but you can still read the consultation documents at the following link:


2.0  Who did we consult with?

2.1 We asked the public for views on our proposals. We asked for views from:

·         Parents, carers and young people

·         staff in early years settings, schools, and further education settings (e.g. colleges);

·         parent and carer groups, including North Yorkshire Parent Carer Voice (PCV);

·         local authority staff

·         health colleagues


2.2  Given the proposals we were consulting on we also specifically targeted the current staff (including Governors), pupils and parents / carers of Welburn Hall School.


3.0  How did we consult?


3.1 We asked a number of questions, in a survey, about our proposals.  The survey was available online, via the council’s website.  Paper copies were available from Wellburn Hall School and on request and an ‘easy read’ version was available on request.  Copies of the consultation paperwork was also available in other formats as requested.

We recommended that those being consulted attended an information event before responding with their views.

3.2 In our survey we asked:

·         Do you agree that North Yorkshire County Council should change the residential offer at Welburn Hall School for children and young people aged 8-19, who have communication and interaction needs (including Autism) and / or learning disability, where there is an assessed social care need for residential provision?

Respondents were asked to choose:

Strongly Agree          Agree             Neither agree nor disagree            Disagree        Strongly Disagree

·         Please explain the reasons for your answer


·         What do you think the benefits of this change will be?

·         Do you have any concerns about the proposal that you would like to tell us about?

·         Please feel free to provide any relevant supporting information to accompany your previous answer relating to the proposal for changes to the residential offer at Welburn Hall School.


3.3 During October and November 2021 the consultation included:

·         Parent/carer and professional online meetings

·         Online meetings for parents / carers of current Welburn Hall School pupils

·         2 face to face meetings for the current staff of Welburn Hall School.


In addition, work was undertaken with current pupils of Welburn Hall School alongside with the support of school staff.


3.4 During the consultation we gave a presentation about the proposals for residential provision at Welburn Hall School which included:

·         The vision and current situation for SEND provision in North Yorkshire

·         The proposal for residential provision at Welburn Hall school to extend to cover the whole age range and offer up to 7 nights per week provision during term time (38 weeks)

·         The rationale for the proposal.

·         Detail about who the proposed provision would support and what the implications would be for implementation.

·         The timescales going forward.

4. Consultation feedback

4.1 We have received feedback in these ways:

·         Consultation survey responses (online). No paper copies of the survey were requested.

·         Attendance at events

·         Written response received from Welburn Hall School Leadership Team including Governors

·         Report of the feedback given by Welburn Hall School pupils from Youth Engagement Team.


4.2 Consultation survey responses

There were 74 respondents who completed the online survey.

Respondents indicated that they were completing the survey in their position as follows (NB people were asked to indicate all that apply):

·         I am a parent / carer of a child or young person with SEND (27)   - 37%

·         I am a parent/carer of child/young person on the roll of Welburn Hall (16) – 22%

·         I am responding on behalf of an organisation/in my professional role – health (6) – 8%

·         I am responding on behalf of an organisation/in my professional role – care (7) – 10%

·         I am responding on behalf of an organisation/in my professional role - education (15) – 20%

·         I am a member of the public who lives in North Yorkshire (25) – 34%


5. Consultation outcomes


5.1 There were a total of 74 responses to the survey for the question ‘To what extent do you agree with our proposals?’. The views were as follows:

·         Strongly agree 43 (59%)

·         Agree 18 (25%)

·         Neither agree or disagree 1 (1%)

·         Disagree 2 (3%)

·         Strongly disagree 9 (12%)


5.2 These responses indicate that the majority of respondents either agree or strongly agree with the proposals made, with 15% disagreeing. Looking at the written responses to this question, where respondents have disagreed or strongly disagreed the responses focus on there not being enough places for a wider group of children and young people with needs outside of the scope of Welburn Hall School. This suggests that the disagreement is not with the proposal itself, but with the fact that at present there are not enough provisions for a wider group of children and young people with SEND, a matter which aims to be addressed through the Local Area SEND Strategy which has just completed a period of consultation.


5.3 There were some negative comments which raised concerns about how young people who continue to attend the school post 16 will be supported to develop independent living skills if residential provision is not available for them.  Current pupils were naturally concerned about what social opportunities they would now be able to access and how they would be able to practice independent living skills.  We will continue to work with the school to ensure that the Preparation for Adulthood curriculum is robust as it is across the other maintained special schools with post 16 provision.



6. Equality Impact Assessment


6.1 Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) are public documents.  EIAs accompanying reports going to County Councillors for decisions are published with the committee papers on our website and are available in hard copy at the relevant meeting.  To help people to find completed EIAs we also publish them in the Equality and Diversity section of our website.  This will help people to see for themselves how we have paid due regard in order to meet statutory requirements. 

6.2 There is an EIA for this consultation. It was shared on our website as part of the consultation material for consideration.  Having reviewed feedback on conclusion of the consultation the EIA has been reviewed and updated and it can be found at link to be inserted.


7. Outcome of the consultation

The consultation was open for 49 days starting on 14th October 2021 until 2nd December 2021. Once the consultation closed, we reviewed all of the responses.

The majority of respondents were positive about the proposals and were clear about the potential benefits.  The following areas were highlighted:

a)    Better options for families – children being closer to home and options of 4 or 7 night provision;

b)    Improved outcomes for children and young people, including reassurance over quality and safeguarding as a result of it being a maintained provision;

c)    Increasing the options open to families of children and young people with Communication and Interaction needs and / or Learning Disability;

d)    Better value for money option available.

There was concern through the survey responses in the following areas:

a)    That the funding and resourcing (including staffing) of the proposed provision was fit for purpose;

b)    That there was a robust curriculum offer for those post 16 students not eligible for residential provision to develop their independence skills and social opportunities;

c)    That the proposals focused on children and young people with a very particular need and did not address gaps in provision for other groups of needs.

The Local Authority acknowledge these concerns.  For points a and b there will be continuing work with the school to ensure that for a) the provision not only provides value for money but is of a high standard;  and b) that the school’s Preparation for Adulthood offer is robust.  Given the focus of the consultation on Welburn Hall School, the points raised in c) are more reflective of concerns about the wider provision for SEND in North Yorkshire rather than a concern about the specific proposal being consulted on.  The Local Authority SEND Strategy has recently completed a public consultation and will seek to address wider issues of provision outside of the scope of this proposal.

Taking all this into consideration, we have not made changes to our proposals and we therefore made recommendations as follows:

Continue with residential provision at Welburn Hall for the school’s designated needs but with existing residential criteria applied consistently and open to Welburn’s full age range 8-19).  Residential provision to be extended to be available for up to 7 nights per week during term times (38 weeks).

These recommendations were put forward in line with the Authority’s democratic processes as outlined in its Constitution.

Next steps and timescales

We prepared a report for councilors, who will consider the feedback on consultation of changes to residential provision at Welburn Hall school to accept children and young people aged 8-19, who have communication and interaction needs (including Autism) and / or learning disability, where there is an assessed social care need for residential provision, and make a decision at the council’s Executive scheduled for 8th March 2022.