Earlier in the year Bristol City Council committed to developing a new long term plan to improve the experiences of children and young people with SEND and high needs in the city. Ahead of formal consultations being launched early next year, this survey will give valuable insight into what the council should focus on.
The survey is open until 6 January 2019 and can be accessed through the council's website.
Councillor Anna Keen, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said:
“This survey is the first step in developing our new plan and we want to involve parents, carers and individuals with SEND in this process as much as possible. The views we receive now will help to shape more formal consultations starting early next year. We’ve been clear about the challenges in this area posed by the lack of proper funding from government and rising demand and we are committed to putting collaboration with families at the heart of how we move forward.
“Through this initial survey we want to establish how things may need to change so families have better experiences. I’d like to encourage anyone with an interest to complete the survey.”
Four key topics have been identified as possible areas for improvement.
- Top Up funding – this is extra money that education settings can apply for to support children and young people with the highest needs and SEND. An education setting is a term that describes where a child or a young person gets their education, from their early years through to when they are older than 16.
- Access to Alternative Learning Provision (ALP) and Early Intervention Bases (EIBs) – these provide intensive support over a short period for children and young people with SEND as well as those without but who have challenging behaviour.
- Education for sick children - Bristol Hospital Education Service (BHES) - This provides education for pupils who are too ill to attend school.
- Other services that support families and individuals with SEND and the highest needs - These include services such as sensory support and autism.
The council wants to review how these areas are working, how they are serving the children and young people they’re designed to support, and where improvements could be made.
Following a Judicial Review in August Full Council reinstated the 2018/19 budget for the High Needs Block, without any savings proposals attached. The council produced a guide outlining the steps it is taking following the Judicial Review which is available here.