Decision details

Residential provision for children and young people with SEND

Decision Maker: Executive Member for Education and Skills, including early years, schools, apprenticeships, FE colleges & UTC`s, and engagement with the skills agenda of the LEP

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

Approval for public consultation on proposals for the development of residential provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at Welburn Hall School.

Decision:

To approve public consultation on the preferred option to continue with residential provision at Welburn for the school’s designated needs but with existing residential criteria applied consistently and open to Welburn’s full age range with residential provision extended to be available for up to 7 nights per week during term times (38 weeks).

Reasons for the decision:

The LA has a statutory responsibility under the Children and Families Act 2014 to keep its special educational provision under review, to ensure sufficiency in placements to meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and / or disabilities (SEND). Under the same Act the local authority also has responsibility for ensuring that the needs of children and young people with SEND are suitably assessed and that needs are met.

Welburn Hall is one of two maintained special schools in North Yorkshire which offer 4 night per week residential provision. It provides day and residential provision for children and young people aged 8 – 19 with a range of learning and communication based needs including Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC), Speech, Language and Communication Needs, Moderate and Severe Learning Difficulties.

Currently the residential aspect of the school is part of the sixth form curriculum offer to promote independence skills and preparation for adulthood. The last three years have seen a gradual decline in demand for residential placements, from 29 to 24. However, the forecast for the next three years, with placements based on assessed care and educational needs, indicates a sharp decrease which will have significant implications for the viability of the school budget.

An analysis of independent and out of county residential placements was undertaken. Children and young people in these placements typically have very complex care needs. A group of cases were identified where the children and young people have been assessed as having primary needs which are aligned with Welburn Hall’s designation.

Option 3 outlines the proposal to extend Welburn Hall’s residential provision to accommodate pupils from across it’s age range (8-19), with needs currently within its designation of SLCN and LD.

Alternative options considered:

Consideration was made of both continuing the current residential offer at Welburn Hall and ceasing residential provision at the school. The benefits and risks of these options are outlined within this report. An alternative residential offer has been suggested (Option 3) and is the option that is recommended to move forward to consultation in order to gather feedback from all stakeholders.

Publication date: 06/10/2021

Date of decision: 06/10/2021

Effective from: 14/10/2021