Cabinet to consider capital investment in special schools to provide more places for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND): bigstock-Teacher-Helping-Class-With-Num-3915969-2

26 Aug 2020

Education, Learning and Skills

Cabinet to consider capital investment in special schools to provide more places for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

Proposals to improve special schools and increase SEND pupil capacity in Bristol are to be considered by Cabinet next month.

The SEND Sufficiency and Capital Proposals outline a potential investment of over £28m in Bristol’s special schools, which would see major improvements to current special schools as well as significantly increasing the number of specialist provision places in new and refurbished buildings for students with SEND.

If approved, the proposals would enable the council to deliver more specialist provision for children and young adults with Education and Health Care (EHC) plans to help meet its statutory requirements - relieving pressure on the current system and providing better outcomes for families and carers with children and young people with SEND.

The proposals are subject to a full consultation process with all schools, the City of Bristol College, parents, pupils, communities and all other stakeholders prior to progressing feasibility options, set to be held in the autumn.

Councillor Anna Keen, cabinet lead for education and skills, said that the proposed improvements would provide high quality learning environments for vulnerable children and young adults.

She said: “Young people and adults with SEND and their families are a priority for us. The proposals outlined would enable us to increase our offer of pupil places for children and young adults with SEND and at the same time, address the suitability and condition of the current buildings used for educating SEND pupils.

“These new and refurbished buildings would provide high quality learning environments for vulnerable children and young adults, designed specifically to meet SEND teaching needs, including much improved facilities for mobility, environmental control, welfare, landscapes, and hydrotherapy facilities, for example.

“It’s really important to us that improvements in SEND in Bristol are co-produced with parents, carers, families, communities, and our partners in education and health, so all the proposals outlined are subject to a full consultation process set to take place this autumn.”

Proposed improvements include:

  • Refurbish and new builds for both Elmfield School for Deaf Children & Claremont Special School to provide buildings that appropriately meet the needs of children and young people with SEND
  • Project Rainbow - delivery of a new Independent Living Centre, in partnership with the City of Bristol College, providing an additional 14 bed spaces for young adults with SEN to experience independent living at the Ashley Down Campus.

Cabinet will consider the options for the SEND Sufficiency and Capital Proposals on 1 September.

You can find out more about Bristol City Council’s SEND services via the Local Offer website.