New plans for pupils with special needs and disabilityPublished Monday, 13th May 2019
Parents and schools in Rotherham will be consulted under new proposals to help improve the educational experience for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
In recent years Rotherham has seen a significant increase in the number of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), with numbers expected to continue to rise.
To address this, the Council has produced a SEND sufficiency strategy, which aims to ensure all schools receive high quality support to enable them to be as inclusive as possible so the needs of all children can be met.
This includes ensuring there are enough school places and a wide enough range of places within the Rotherham area to meet the needs of local children who have been identified as having special educational needs or disabilities.
Already plans for 125 new school places to help support pupils with SEND have been agreed, and are expected to be complete by 2020.
The Council now wants to develop their offer further, which could include extending more schools and even building local high quality provision. It is envisaged that building works would enable mainstream schools to offer more inclusive provision. These plans would also focus on increased parental choice.
Jon Stonehouse, Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services at Rotherham Council said: “It is our intention to ensure that local children with special educational needs and disabilities can access education close to home.
“This will be better for children and enable us to support the diverse needs of more children and young people in Rotherham. It also makes sense financially and means we can ensure we get best value out of the funding available to us.
“We welcome feedback through our consultation on this.”
He added since the introduction of special educational needs and disability reforms there has been a sharp rise in requests for assessments in the Rotherham area and requests for specialist provision. This increase has come from both parents and schools who feel that the system is not adequately resourced to meet the needs of children.
The new plans look to increase school capacity and boost access for pupils with SEND to get into the Borough’s good schools. The Council’s Cabinet is expected to approve a recommendation at a meeting on May 20 to go out to consultation with local parents, carers and schools. The Cabinet report can be found below: