SEN provision in the future

We are seeking expressions of interest from:

  • Schools with surplus accommodation to be prioritised for SEND
  • Providers interested in operating a unit or satellite provision for children and young people with significant additional need from September 2023.

SEN strategy

Here is Ealing’s current area strategy for SEN

The strategy sets out our aim of working together as a community so that all our children and young people can be the happiest and the best they can be. Priority 4 works to ensure the local offer is developed further to meet current and future needs of our children and young people, including sufficiency of specialist places to meet demand. This proposal supports delivery of this priority.

Sufficiency planning

Forecasts for mainstream provision indicates a decline in numbers. Demand for specialist provision however remains high, making the need to expand our local offer through

  • the introduction of SEN units (more complex needs than ARPs) or
  • satellites on mainstream sites a realistic and viable proposition.

As part of Ealing's sufficiency planning for children and young people with additional needs, we are keen to work in partnership with mainstream primary schools who are interested in building capacity to meet the shortfall in local specialist places.

We are in a much better place thanks to the co-operation of our mainstream schools, but we still need to do more, particularly expanding the capacity available for those with more severe additional needs.

Ealing schools have already risen to the challenge in addressing demand for places for our SEND population through the expansion of all special schools, and the current approach to additional resource provisions (ARPs) - with further expansion expected over the next 3 years.

Does your school premises have spare capacity?

  • Would you like someone else to deliver provision from your site to enable young people with significant needs to thrive and achieve positive outcomes whilst receiving the right support in the right place at the right time. Your premises would be suitably re-purposed, equipped and staffed.
  • Are you interested in setting up and delivering a complex SEN unit provision

As well as:

  • Specialist providers interested in offering provision from a Satellite site.

We are not asking schools to submit formal detailed expressions at this stage appendix 1 is for information and to assist in schools thinking about operating a satellite unit themselves: Example of an expression of interest form

What is a special unit or satellite?

Formal specialist provision operating in a mainstream setting can be run in 2 ways:

  1. SEN Unit - Hosted by the mainstream school and staffed and run by them. The pupils would be on the school’s roll, the governing board would be responsible for progress, and would form part of their OFSTED inspection. The arrangement would be fully supported for set up, assistance with recruitment of specialist staff and re-purposing of the physical space as required.
  2. Satellite - Hosted in the mainstream school but staffed and run by an Ealing maintained special school, academy group, or non-maintained or independent sector working in partnership with the mainstream host and Local Authority. The pupils would be on the roll of the special school or academy group, their governing board would be responsible for progress, and the satellite would form part of their OFSTED inspection. The arrangement would be fully supported for set up, recruitment of specialist staff and re-purposing of the physical space as required

To support the operation of the satellite it is proposed that a partnership board is formed with representatives of the host school, the satellite operator, and the LA. This would ensure any management and resourcing issues can be identified and resolved swiftly and monitor any service level agreement put in place.

Cohort of young people

The learning needs of the children and young people for whom the Unit/satellite is to be established are likely to be significant, with a combination of substantial and severe difficulties which would require small groups with high staff / pupil ratios. The pupils are likely to be functioning at early developmental levels and might have the following additional needs:

  • Significant learning delay
  • Diagnosis of Autism or social communication difficulty -
  • Significant speech and language needs, sensory processing difficulties
  • medical and/or physical needs, hearing and/or visual needs
  • behaviours that can challenge that are mainly because of the difficulties listed above.

Integration into the mainstream setting is likely to be very limited, however there could be some planned activities in the mainstream setting (where both host school and Unit/satellite leads agree for the benefit of all pupils) - reflecting the young person's capacity and interests.

What we are looking for

We are looking for schools that

  • have evidenced good / outstanding practice in SEND and inclusion
  • who are committed to working in partnership with the LA and
  • engaging parents and carers in the provision (co-production).

We want the schools to become examples of best SEND practice, and to work with and support other schools across the local area.

Typically, we would expect a satellite to have capacity for between 24 to 40 pupils with an EHCP. This would require 3 –5 classrooms for teaching plus 2- 3 classrooms for support spaces. Overall, a satellite would require the equivalent of 1FE (7 classes) of vacant teaching space. In most cases the age range would mirror the host school. Smaller and/or less separated spaces can be evaluated, although may be less likely to proceed if larger more suitable spaces are available.

Ideally, any satellite would be accessed separately from the main school. Teaching spaces would have immediate access to a secure outdoor space.

Register your interest

At this initial stage, we would welcome contact from mainstream schools interested in this opportunity who feel they may have the physical capacity and the willingness to expand their already successful inclusive practices.

This is not a formal agreement to proceed, however it is good practice to alert the governing body or Chair.

For further information, please contact Tom Lindsay before the end of the Summer Term.

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Last updated: 28 Jun 2022

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