SEN Inclusion Review by 522k8v

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									                                    SEN Inclusion Review

            Options for the Development of SEN Provision

                                  Consultation Document




767d9c15-be47-4818-8dc6-ef3ef04efefb.doc                   27 May 2012
                 Options for Development of SEN Provision

                                                   Contents

Part A: Introduction .................................................................................................. 3
  1     Background ............................................................................................ 3
  2     Definition of Inclusion ............................................................................. 3
  3     Key Principles ........................................................................................ 4
  4     Information From the Audit .................................................................... 5
Part B: Options: The Organisation of Special Provision in Schools ................... 7
  5     Context .................................................................................................. 7
  6     Special Provision: Option 1 – Area Partnership. .................................... 7
  7     Special Provision: Option 2 – The Learning Village ............................... 8
  8     Special Provision: Option 3 - Generic Schools ...................................... 9
  9     Special Provision: Option 4 - Specialist Mainstream Schools .............. 10
  9     Special Provision: Option 5 - Evolutionary Change.............................. 11
Part C: Support Services ....................................................................................... 13
   10   Scope................................................................................................... 13
   11   Context ................................................................................................ 13
   12   Support Services: Option 1 – Outreach from Specialist Centres in
        Mainstream/Special Schools ................................................................ 14
  13 Support Services: Option 2 – Area Teams........................................... 14
  14 Support Services: Option 3 – Evolutionary Change. ............................ 15
Part D – Reducing Reliance on Statements ......................................................... 16
   15   Context ................................................................................................ 16
   16   Reducing Reliance on Statements: Option 1 – Delegating/Devolving
        Funding to Schools .............................................................................. 16
  17 Reducing Reliance on Statements: Option 2 – Devolving
        Responsibility to Clusters of Schools ................................................... 17
  18 Reducing Reliance on Statements: Option 3 – Devolving
        Responsibility to Professional Teams .................................................. 17
  19 Reducing Reliance on Statements: Other Options............................... 18
Part E – Funding for SEN Provision ...................................................................... 19
  20 Context ................................................................................................ 19
  21 Funding: Option 1 – Staffing Lead Funding ......................................... 19
  22 Funding: Option 2 – Pupil Needs Lead Banding Model ....................... 19
Appendix: Consultation Process .......................................................................... 21




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                               Part A: Introduction

1    Background
In September 2004, the Council published a strategy for special educational needs
inclusion, “Raising Standards for all Children 2004-2008”. During the first year of the
SEN Inclusion Strategy considerable progress was achieved on all the priorities but
the conclusion was reached that more fundamental change was required, if all its
goals were to be achieved, and particularly the goal of increased inclusion.
Consequently, the Council decided that there should be a full review of provision for
SEN and SEN inclusion, which would be carried out in three stages as follows:
    A preliminary consultation exercise.
    Consultation on a set of options based on the preliminary consultation and an
     analysis of current provision and current and future need.
 The preparation of detailed proposals which would be subject to further
     consultation and decision by Cabinet.
In the first stage, which is now complete, parents, carers, school staff and other
partners and stakeholders were consulted about their views on special educational
provision in Gateshead. In addition, a detailed audit of needs and provision was
carried out.
This document will form the basis for the second stage of the process and describes
the possible options that the Council has identified for the future of SEN provision. It
covers the key areas of provision and the aim is that the feedback from the
consultation exercise will help the Council to develop their ideas and to decide which
options will be best for children and young people with SEN in Gateshead.
The document includes a range of options covering a number of different topics.
Although written as discrete options they need not necessarily be mutually exclusive.
For example, one option may be suitable for a more densely populated area of
Gateshead and another more suitable for an area where the population is more
dispersed. In addition, there may be elements of one option that are viewed
negatively but other elements that are seen positively and could be matched to
elements of another option to produce a more acceptable result.
It is also important to recognise that, at this stage, the implications of the options
have not been linked specifically to the future of particular schools. This paper is
more to provide a basis for discussion to help us to develop a vision for special
provision in Gateshead and to guide the development of clear proposals for
implementation after April 2008. What is important at this stage is the broad picture
and the potential direction of travel.
Finally, there has been no reference in this document to the potential strengths and
weaknesses of the various options. That does not mean that we think all the options
are equally robust. Rather we believe that it is the job of the consultation exercise to
identify the strengths and weaknesses and to advise the Council about which options
are considered to have the most merit.

2    Definition of Inclusion
The Council policy on educational inclusion states that, inclusive education means
providing all children and young people with appropriate education and networks of


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support. Specifically it endorses a definition proposed by Sebba and Ainscow1 which
defines inclusive education as follows:-
      Inclusive education in the process by which a school attempts to respond
      to all pupils as individuals by reconsidering and restructuring its curricular
      organisation and provision, allocating resources to enhance equality of
      opportunity. Through this process the school builds its capacity to accept
      all pupils from the local community who wish to attend and in so doing
      reduces the need to exclude pupils.
Under this definition, inclusion is seen as a process by which schools develop to
ensure equality and access to all children and young people in their area “and in
which all children and young people have the opportunity to learn together” (Rita
Cherminais quoted in “Promoting SEN Inclusion in Gateshead. A Head Teacher
Research Project”).
Alongside this, the first stage of consultation suggested a member of other possible
characteristics of inclusive education which included:-
   All children and young people being valued and accepted in school.
   Receiving high quality education.
   Children and young people reaching their potential.
   A flexible system that takes account of individual differences.
   A setting with a positive attitude to differences.
   A learning environment matched to individual needs.

3     Key Principles
In developing the options for a change a number of key principles were followed.
These were based fundamentally on the Council’s SEN Inclusion Strategy but also
drew on Gateshead’s “Children and Young People’s Plan” and the SEN Code of
Practice (DFES, 2002). In addition they support the outcome for Children and Young
People as set out in the Gateshead Community Strategy Children and Towards 2010
with young people who develop to their full potential and have the life skills and
opportunities to play an active part in society. Reference was also made to the
Government SEN Strategy as described in “Removing Barriers to Achievement” and
the Governments outcomes framework for children and young people described in
“Every Child Matters Change for Children” (DFES 2005).
The key principles were as follows:-
   There should be more inclusion which would include, for example:
     More children being educated in their local mainstream school rather than a
       special school or unit.
     Fewer children having to go to schools outside Gateshead to have their SEN
       met.
     More opportunities for children attending special provision to work alongside
       their mainstream peers.
     Flexible arrangements to ensure children and young people with SEN are
       able to reach their potential wherever they go to school.

1
  Sebba, J. & Ainscow, M. (1996). International developments in inclusive schooling: Mapping the
issues. Cambridge Journal of Education, 26(1), 5-18.

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   Change should be based on partnership with parents, children and young
    people.
   Staff, governors and other stakeholders should be actively engaged in the
    process of review.
   Provision should be directed at ensuring high levels of achievement.
   Change should support early intervention.
   Where possible services should be locally based and locally delivered.
   There should be a range of provision to match the range of needs.
   Resources should be used efficiently with allocation based on knowledge of what
    works.
   As far as possible resources and responsibility for meeting needs should be
    delegated to the local level.
   The needs of the full 0-19 years age group should be addressed.
   Provision should be subject to effective monitoring, evaluation and challenge.
   Systems should be simplified and made less bureaucratic. There should be less
    reliance on statements for the allocation of resources to children with less
    complex needs.
   Decision-making should be open to scrutiny.

4    Information From the Audit
Prior to drafting this consultation document, a detailed audit of current special
educational needs and provision was carried out. This highlighted both strengths
and weaknesses, areas of effective provision and gaps, and is summarised in a
separate report. However, there are a number of key issues raised in the audit which
need to be addressed in the SEN Inclusion Review and are worth reiterating here.
   The proportion of children and young people with statements attending
    mainstream schools (not including the additionally resourced provision) is low
    compared with similar authorities.
   While the proportion of children and young people attending special schools is
    comparable with the proportion in similar areas, placement in additionally
    resourced provision is twice the national average. Consequently, the proportion
    of children attending special provision is higher than the proportion in similar
    areas.
   It is very unusual for children and young people with the more severe learning
    difficulties to attend mainstream schools.
   The numbers of children and young people with statements attending schools not
    maintained by Gateshead is high.
   Current occupancy levels in the mainstream support bases for moderate learning
    difficulties and specific learning difficulties are low.
   Other than the provision made at Dryden School, there is a lack of specialist
    provision for the 16-19 year age group.
   There is no specialist provision in Gateshead for girls with behaviour, emotional
    and social difficulties in Key Stages 3 and 4.
   There is a gap in specialist provision for children and young people with visual
    impairment in the secondary phase of education.

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   There is a gap in specialist provision for children and young people with hearing
    impairment both at primary and secondary level.
   There is a gap in provision for speech and language needs at the secondary
    level in mainstream schools.
   Therapy provision is stretched by current demand and it has been difficult to
    meet the needs of some children with complex needs, such as those resulting
    from autism. Currently, there is insufficient capacity to meet the increased
    demand that would result from reducing out of authority placements, particularly
    placements of children with hearing impairment.
   There is a high and increasing number of children and young people diagnosed
    with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). The proportion of children and young
    people with statements of SEN who are diagnosed with ASD is higher than in
    comparable authorities.




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    Part B: Options: The Organisation of Special Provision in Schools

5      Context
Gateshead currently has six special schools, 2 primary, 3 secondary and one all-age
up to 16. Eleven mainstream schools host a total of 14 mainstream support bases or
units. In addition, one primary school has extra resources for children with visual
impairment and one secondary school is additionally resourced for children and
young people in its catchment area who have autistic spectrum disorders (ASD).
Approximately 100 children and young people with statements of SEN are placed in
a range of schools and units that are not maintained by Gateshead. (These include
mainstream schools, mainstream schools with units and non-maintained and
independent schools.)

6      Special Provision: Option 1 – Area Partnership.
Under this option, responsibility for provision and the associated funding would be
devolved or delegated to a partnership of schools in an area which would be
responsible for managing provision and deploying resources in partnership with their
linked primary schools.
The arrangements would have the following characteristics:
    Funding for SEN would be distributed to schools according to a formula based on
     the expected level of need in the area.
 The relationship between the Council and the schools would essentially be that
     of commissioner and providers and be subject to service level agreements.
     Such agreements could, but would not necessarily, depend on the content of
     statements of special educational needs. That is, children and young people
     could be given access to the additional resources without the need to go through
     a formal process of statutory assessment, so long as the overall arrangements
     did not breach the statutory framework.
 Within the boundaries of the agreements made with the Council, it would be open
     to partnerships of schools to organise their resources as they considered most
     appropriate to meet the range of needs in their population.
 However, to ensure that provision was meeting needs effectively and giving good
     value for money, the Council would establish a systematic process for monitoring
     and evaluation, with strict emphasis on the outcomes for children and young
     people.
Although this approach should increase levels of inclusion of children and young
people with high incidence needs2 and give schools the means to develop their
capacity to meet SEN, it would be unrealistic to expect every partnership to provide
for all children and young people with low incidence needs3 independently of schools
in other areas of Gateshead. To provide effectively for such individuals, an option
could be for particular partnerships to develop a specialism in a specific area of need,
in addition to their generic SEN role, and to admit children from other areas with the

2
  High incidence needs may include, for example, needs associated with general learning difficulties,
specific learning difficulties, speech language and communication difficulties and behaviour emotional
and social difficulties.
3
  Low incidence needs include, for example needs associated with visual or hearing impairment,
severe autism and profound and multiple learning difficulties.

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relevant need. This would be particularly appropriate for those with hearing or visual
impairments but could also be appropriate for those with speech language and
communication needs (including many with ASD), physical difficulties and severe
specific learning difficulties. Especially for children and young people who need the
involvement of health professionals, specialisation of this sort could give an optimum
balance between inclusion and access to services.
While this option could provide a structure that would not require separate special
schools, this would not necessarily be the case. Special schools could continue to
play a valuable role under this model, with children who have the most complex or
challenging needs. However, were special schools to continue under this model,
then the principle of increasing inclusion that underpins this review would require
much more formalised links between each special school and the mainstream sector
with flexibility of access across the linked schools. It may be that federation or some
other formal arrangement for collaboration would be the best way of achieving this.
Fundamentally this option is about giving schools responsibility for provision and the
funding to go with it but there is a question about how provision for low incidence
needs should be funded. Clearly it is important for there to be a clear funding regime
to ensure quality and permit effective planning. Three possible options for this
funding regime are as follows:
1. The area would fund places at specialist provision where it is unable to meet
   particular needs or it anticipates needing a number of places of a particular type.
2. The Council would directly commission specialist places with access to them
   being through a Council managed process, statutory assessment being the
   obvious candidate.
3. A third possibility would sit somewhere between the first two with funding for
   specialist provision in mainstream schools being arranged between the schools
   concerned and the Council taking responsibility for the funding and the number of
   places in special schools.

7    Special Provision: Option 2 – The Learning Village
This option is dependent on the co-location of mainstream and specialist provision
within what is essentially an extended school. Within Gateshead, there might be 3 to
5 learning villages, each of which would take the lead role in collaborating over SEN
in their area and ensuring all areas of need are provided for effectively.
The arrangements would have the following characteristics:
   Provision would be based on a primary school, a secondary school and specialist
    provision being established on a single campus together with health, social care
    and early years resources and other elements of an extended school.
   There would be flexibility of movement for children and young people between
    the mainstream and specialist provision with fully integrated organisation.
   Some elements of the specialist provision might be more deeply embedded in the
    mainstream of the village than others but that would depend on the nature of the
    need. It might be expected, for instance, that provision for sensory impairment
    would be clearly located within the mainstream while children and young people
    with severe to profound physical and learning difficulties might need a more
    specialised base.


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   The learning village would be lead by a Principal and there would be a single
    governing body. Each of the specialist, primary and secondary elements of the
    village would be lead by a Deputy Principal or Head of School. Staff would be
    appointed to the village and could be deployed across different parts as
    necessary and appropriate.
 Support services would be integral to the village but would provide outreach
    services to the other schools including individual support packages. The Village
    would have generic and area responsibility for all but the most complex needs.
 Children with SEN could be supported through outreach or be admitted for more
    intensive intervention to the specialist provision.
 Placements could be short or long term and be made on the basis of professional
    judgement in partnership with parents.
     During such placements, the home school would retain responsibility for the
         child or young person.
     The Council would not need to be directly involved in these decisions except
         as an arbiter in the event of disagreement.
     Only extended placements would need the authorisation of statutory
         assessment and a statement of SEN.
 In addition to their generic SEN responsibility, each village would have
    responsibility for one or two areas of low incidence need, with an extended
    catchment area for children with such needs.
 Each Village could also take the lead in developing satellite provision in other
    schools, so long as this is consistent with the terms of its agreement with the
    Council.
As with Option 1, the relationship with the Council would essentially be that of
commissioner and provider with clear service level agreements and a systematic
annual commissioning cycle. There would also be a formal process for monitoring
and evaluation with strict emphasis on outcomes for children and young people.
Accountability, however, would be to other schools in the area served as well as to
the Council.
Depending on the detail, this option might or might not involve the continuation of
some separate special school provision. If it were to do so, then it should only be the
provision for those children and young people with the most profound difficulties that
is separately located. For example, it might be argued that it would not be beneficial
for children and young people with severe autism or profound and multiple learning
difficulties to be located in a learning village.

8    Special Provision: Option 3 - Generic Schools
This option is based on the model described in the report “Promoting SEN Inclusion”
(A headteacher research project carried out by Ed Bartley and Pat Gilbert). The
report described a staged process towards all special provision being located within
or alongside mainstream provision.
Building on the description in the report, the arrangements could have the following
characteristics:
   There would be at least two purpose built or adapted generic schools, one or
    more for the primary and early years age group (2 – 11 year) and one for the
    secondary age group (12 – 19 years).

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   Each school would include a specialist faculty and a mainstream faculty within
    the same building. The specialist faculty would be designed to replace all
    existing special school provision.
 Health and social care resources would also be located on-site, as in an
    extended school, but these resources would be enhanced to ensure that the
    specific health and social care needs of the children and young people with SEN
    could be met effectively.
 Each generic school would operate under a single governing body with an overall
    principal and there would be a head of each faculty and a joint senior
    management team.
 There would be a member of the senior management team who would operate
    across both faculties to coordinate inclusion within the school.
 Staff would be appointed to the school as a whole and could be deployed across
    both faculties, where appropriate.
 The specialist faculty would have the resources to provide effectively for pupils
    with the most severe and complex difficulties in all categories of SEN for whom
    placement in a local mainstream school is not considered to be appropriate. For
    this to be effective there would need to be both specialist accommodation and
    specialist staff.
 Individual packages of support for particular pupils could involve a mix of
    mainstream and specialist faculty classes with the specialist faculty providing
    education in small groups. However the aim would be for as many pupils as
    possible to receive their education in the mainstream. Where pupils required
    support within mainstream classes the specialist faculty would be responsible for
    providing it.
 The generic schools would only provide for the minority of children and young
    people with SEN on-site and most would continue to attend a mainstream school
    in their own locality. However outreach support these children and young people
    could be based at the generic schools which should enable effective coordination
    and deployment of resources.
 Children and young people with the most complex and challenging needs, such
    as severe autism or severe behaviour, emotional and social difficulties, might
    benefit from being in a physically separate location. However, the model would
    still envisage such provision as needing strong links with mainstream, whether
    through co-location or a federation approach.
Under this model, the responsibility for the effective delivery of special educational
provision would largely be devolved to the generic school and the role of the Council
would be to monitor and evaluate the provision in terms of the outcomes for children
and young people with SEN and to ensure that commissioning arrangements were
robust and the provision gave good value for money.

9    Special Provision: Option 4 - Specialist Mainstream Schools
Under this option, all specialist provision would be based in the mainstream sector
with specific mainstream schools becoming specialists in relation to particular
categories of SEN.
This option would have the following characteristics:
   All schools would be funded to meet the needs of children and young people with
    high incidence needs according to a formula reflecting the expected level of need
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    in each school’s catchment area. Children with high incidence needs would not
    require a statement to access these resources which would be deployed on the
    basis of professional judgement in consultation with parents, as currently
    happens at school action plus.
   There would be additionally resourced schools to provide for children and young
    people with complex needs, much as there are mainstream support bases at
    present. However the provision would have a broader responsibility and there
    would be flexibility in the use of staff to ensure that resources could be deployed
    to best effect as demand changed. The provision would be subject to a service
    level agreement between the school and the Council.
   Children and young people with SEN could be admitted to the additionally
    resourced school on a temporary or part-time basis and there would be an
    expectation that the home school would retain some continuing responsibility for
    their education. Placement would be a matter for professional judgement in
    consultation with parents and it would only be necessary to go through the formal
    process of statutory assessment if the placement was to be an extended one.
   The additionally resourced schools would provide the bases for outreach support
    to other mainstream schools in relation to their specialism.
   For children and young people with the most challenging and complex needs,
    schools would typically need adapted or extended accommodation to provide the
    specialist facilities required, including the facilities needed for intervention by
    health care professionals.
   Because of the accommodation required in order to make high quality provision
    for children and young people with the most complex and challenging needs,
    development towards the establishment of suitable mainstream specialist schools
    would involve progression through a number of stages over time as follows:
    1. Collaboration between a special school and a nominated mainstream school.
    2. Federation of the mainstream and special school.
    3. Co-location of the schools.
    4. Integration of the schools in terms of governance and day-to-day
       management.
Under this option, the Council would oversee provision and have a direct
responsibility to manage its shape and development. As it does now, the Council
would decide how provision should be made and would seek partners amongst the
schools for specific initiatives. There would still be a requirement for systematic
monitoring and evaluation based on outcomes for children and young people, but the
relationship between the Council and the schools would be less that of commissioner
and provider and more that of collaborator and partner. The Council would not only
determine what was needed but also how it should be provided.

9    Special Provision: Option 5 - Evolutionary Change
Under this option, the broad picture of SEN provision would remain much as it
currently is but change would be initiated in order to meet increased demand, to re-
deploy surplus capacity to areas where capacity is lacking and to respond to changes
in expectations.
Taking into account current developments, the arrangements could have the
following characteristics:

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   Provision for children and young people with high incidence needs, such as
    moderate learning difficulties, would increasingly be made in their parents’ choice
    of mainstream school. Funding would be configured to ensure support for
    inclusion of this sort was adequate.
 Potentially, funding for high incidence needs could be based on a formula and
    delegated to schools so reducing the need for statements of SEN to guarantee
    provision.
 There would continue to be a number of special schools to meet low incidence
    and complex needs but the designation of the schools may be changed to reflect
    current levels and categories of need and the complexities of that need.
 The number of children and young people attending special schools would
    progressively decrease as improved arrangements for supporting inclusion in
    mainstream schools take effect. This would ultimately require a reduction in the
    number of special schools which might involve the amalgamation of existing
    special schools alongside the development of some enhanced provision within a
    mainstream school.
 To support inclusion of children and young people attending special schools,
    formalised links or partnerships between special schools and specific mainstream
    schools would be established. This might include formal or informal federation
    arrangement with joint or aligned governance.
 Formalised but flexible arrangements between special and mainstream schools
    could also support shared placements with the balance of attendance between
    mainstream and special school being tailored to individual need. Arrangements
    might also allow for some shared staffing and enable outreach of special school
    staff into the mainstream sector.
 When opportunities arose or where the setting no longer adequately met the
    needs of the school’s population, special school provision could be re-located to
    a mainstream school either to become a linked school or to become an integral
    part of the school.
 There would be increasing development of additionally resourced provision in
    mainstream schools but, given the current level of vacancy in mainstream
    support bases for moderate learning difficulties and specific learning difficulties
    this would be directed at low incidence needs, such as visual impairment and
    hearing impairment. It would, however, need to involve the flexible use of staff to
    support children and young people within their mainstream classes and,
    potentially, across schools. Additional resourcing of this sort would be subject to
    service level agreements.
 Some mainstream schools might develop a specialism in a particular area of
    need and be funded by the Council to provide outreach support, as is already
    beginning to happen.
Under this option, the Council would oversee provision and have a direct
responsibility to manage its shape and development. As it does now, the Council
would decide how provision should be made and would seek partners amongst the
schools for specific initiatives. There would still be a requirement for systematic
monitoring and evaluation based on outcomes for children and young people, but the
relationship between the Council and the schools would be less that of commissioner
and provider and more that of collaborator and partner. The Council would not only
determine what was needed but also how it should be provided.


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                             Part C: Support Services

10    Scope
In reviewing options for the organisation and deployment of the support services, it is
important to consider their roles and how they should develop. This is a complex
issue and will require detailed analysis beyond the scope of this options paper.
However, in considering options, it is important to bear in mind a number of factors,
particularly the following expectations:
    While service delivery will continue to include teaching, assessment and
     intervention, there will be a shift in the balance of service delivery from individual
     assessment and intervention to a model based more on consultation and advice.
    Universal services will increase their capacity to meet high incidence needs
     effectively.
    A reduction in statutory assessment will release capacity in the specialist support
     services to help universal and targeted services to develop their expertise in
     relation to children with SEN.
    Where the support services are directly involved with children and young people,
     it will be with those who have the most challenging and complex needs. In those
     circumstances staff will work as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
    There will be a greater emphasis on training and the development of systems to
     support vulnerable children and young people.
    Generally, service delivery will be more locality based and fundamentally involve
     multi-disciplinary and multi-agency working.

11    Context
Currently the Council has a number of distinct education support services:
The SEN Support Service (SENSS) is a team of specialist teachers (liaison
teachers) and SEN assistants (SENAs). They provide specialist support in the
following areas
      Language and communication (including ASD)
      Sensory impairment
      Physical difficulty
      Specific learning difficulties
      Early years
The early years staff work with educational psychologists in the Early Years Inclusion
Team while the language liaison teachers work with speech and language therapist,
staff of the language units and an educational psychologist in the Language Inclusion
Team.
SENSS also includes a team of learning support teachers who work in schools on a
buy-back basis and a team of teachers and support assistants who provide support
for children and young people in mainstream schools with statements of SEN.
The Behaviour Support Service (BSS) has a wide brief covering preventative work
in schools, provision for excluded and disaffected pupils, hospital and home tuition
and some provision for children and young people with statements of SEN for
behaviour, emotional and social difficulties.

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Its team of specialist teachers (liaison teachers) and SENAs, the In-School Support
Team, mainly work in schools at School Action Plus.
The Hospital and Home Tuition team works with a range of children and young
people who are unable to attend school for a variety of reasons including some who
have statements of SEN.
One of the 4 teaching centres managed by the service provides specifically for
children and young people with statements of SEN for behaviour emotional and
social difficulties.
Only the In-School Support Team and the provision made for children and young
people with statements will be considered directly by the SEN Inclusion Review
although the review will have implications for all of the BSS.
The Psychological Service is a team of educational psychologists who provide a
generic service to all schools in Gateshead. In addition, each psychologist has a
specialism and, together, the team covers all categories of need. Psychologists with
an early years specialism contribute to the early years inclusion team while the
language specialist contributes to the Language Inclusion Team.
The Raising Achievement Service includes two area SEN coordinators (Area
SENCOs) who work with early years settings across Gateshead.
The Early Years Service has an inclusion team that supports inclusion in early years
settings across Gateshead.

12   Support Services: Option 1 – Outreach from Specialist Centres in
     Mainstream/Special Schools
This option assumes that under any new organisation of special provision, particular
schools would have a specialist brief. Specialist staff would be based full-time or
part-time (dependent on the extent to which their work is concerned with the
specialist area) in the specialist centre or special school. The specialist staff would
form a team with the relevant teaching and support staff at the centre or special
school and manage the outreach support to other school and the allocation of
additional resources to children and young people with SEN (potentially without the
need to go through a statutory assessment process). Where appropriate, health and
social care staff could be part of the team.
This model would also allow for the establishment of a single early years inclusion
team which would draw together the relevant early years staff in SENSS, the
Psychological Service, Raising Achievement, the Early Years Service and other
services as appropriate.
Day to day management would be through the specialist centre or school while
professional support and supervision would be through the individual’s professional
grouping.

13   Support Services: Option 2 – Area Teams
Under this option, specialist staff would be assigned to multi-disciplinary locality
teams which would have a community focus. They could be based in extended
schools or children’s centres.
Staff might be based wholly in one team or be part-time in a number of teams (for
example, if a single member of staff needs to cover a number of areas).


                                           14
As with option 1, day to day management and organisation would be through the
specialist centre or school while professional support and supervision would be
through the individual’s professional grouping.

14   Support Services: Option 3 – Evolutionary Change.
Under this model, organisation remains much as at present with support services
being centrally managed through their professional teams. The services would
continue to develop in line with the current change agenda and individual members
of staff would work into multi-agency and multi-disciplinary teams, as is already the
case with the Language Inclusion Team and the Early Years Inclusion Team.
However, their day-to-day employment base would remains at a central location in
the central service. The staffing models could be flexible but would allow co-
ordinated professional development to ensure a match to changing needs. Services
would then adapt, grow or contract, year on year, according to changes in demand
and expectations.




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                Part D – Reducing Reliance on Statements

15   Context
In Gateshead, approximately 950 children and young people have statements of
SEN and around 90 to 100 new statements are made each year. This level of
statements is around twice the level found in the authorities with the lowest
statementing rates. Significantly, the low statementing rates do not appear to be
associated with increased levels of appeal to the SEN and Disability Tribunal.
There are a number of arguments for reducing reliance on statements. These relate
particularly to the following:
   The tendency of the statementing process to label a child as having a learning
    difficulty or disability and therefore to undermine inclusion.
 The diversion of scarce resources into the time comsuming statutory assessment
    process.
 The imbalance between the high level of resources required to carry out statutory
    assessment compared with the relatively limited resources that, in many cases,
    the statement brings to support the child.
 The time delays introduced by the process and its lack of responsiveness to
    immediate need.
 The bureaucratic nature of the process and the stress this creates for families.
However, we know from parents that statements are valued and many talk of the
long fight to obtain one for their child. They see the statement as a legal guarantee
of a particular level of support.
On the other hand, parents, along with professional staff, are dissatisfied by the
bureaucracy of the process and the long time-scale from the start of the process to
the production of the final statement. Quite reasonably, parents want the support a
statement brings without the stress and bureaucracy associated with the process.
Professional staff, both inside and outside schools, share parents frustration with the
process and also see the extent to which resources which could otherwise be used to
support children and young people with SEN is diverted into the assessment
process. They see very clearly that reducing reliance on statements would free them
to intervene more effectively.
To summarise, if we are to reduce reliance on statements, then we need to be clear
that statements would still be used for children with complex and challenging needs
and that any alternative process in place must have the confidence of parents while
being more responsive and less time consuming.

16   Reducing Reliance on Statements: Option 1 – Delegating/Devolving
     Funding to Schools
At present, all children and young people with SEN require statements to access
resources over and above what is generally available to schools in Gateshead. The
level of resources generally available, however, is historically based and not
dependent on an analysis of the range of need a school might normally have to
provide for. Many children put forward for statutory assessment have needs that are
commonly found in mainstream schools and each school might reasonably expect to
have a number of children with such high incidence needs.


                                          16
Under this option, the resources currently allocated to high incidence needs through
statements would be delegated to schools so that the provision becomes available
without a statement and is allocated by the school in partnership with parents and
with the guidance of outside professionals, as appropriate.
The sums delegated would be calculated using a formula that reflected expected
needs in each school’s catchment area. The formula would probably draw on factors
including prior attainment and social disadvantage but would also need to take into
account the fact that some aspects of need are poorly represented by these two
indicators.
As a protection and as a guarantee to parents, the process might include a support
plan which would detail the support and review arrangements, but producing this
would be a much less onerous and more responsive task than statutory assessment.
To ensure confidence in the process it might be appropriate to set up an informal
system to manage disagreements about the support offered. There would also need
to be a systematic monitoring and evaluation process to ensure the resources were
being used effectively for children and young people with SEN. It would also be
essential to ensure that effective training was in place to develop the specialist
teaching expertise that we know is critical to pupil progress.
Under this system, schools would be responsible for providing additional support up
to a particular level (for example, up to 15 hours of SEN assistant support per week)
and any support beyond that would be sought from a contingency fund held by the
local authority, subject to the application of agreed criteria.
Parents would, of course, retain their right under the Education Act 1996 to seek a
statutory assessment should they believe that their child’s needs were not being met
with the resources available.

17   Reducing Reliance on Statements: Option 2 – Devolving Responsibility to
     Clusters of Schools
This option is similar to option 1 except that the funds available are devolved to
clusters of schools (or potentially, delegated to one school to act on behalf of a
cluster of schools). As with option 1, it would be for the schools to deploy the
resources to make provision up to an agreed maximum level after which there could
be a call on a contingency fund.
Unlike option 1, where each school would be responsible for the way it used its own
allocation, under this option there might need to be a panel process to deploy
resources.

18   Reducing Reliance on Statements: Option 3 – Devolving Responsibility to
     Professional Teams
This option is not necessarily an alternative to options 1 and 2 and could run
alongside one or other of them.
Under this option, specialist teams or specialist centres would be given responsibility
for deploying resources allocated to them. (This approach is already being trialled by
the Language Inclusion Team.) They would be able to deploy resources flexibly and
with the minimum of bureaucratic intervention. This might include specialist support
in the mainstream setting or full or part-time attendance at a specialist centre. The
team might also include non-educational staff, such as speech and language


                                          17
therapists or occupational therapists, so a package of support might involve
intervention by health professionals integrated with the educational support.
As in options 1 and 2, parents would, of course, retain their right under the Education
Act 1996 to seek a statutory assessment should they believe that their child’s needs
were not being met with the resources available.

19    Reducing Reliance on Statements: Other Options
Other possible options include the following
    Not using statutory assessment in the latter half of Key Stage 3 and Key stage 4
     for children and young people with behaviour, emotional and social difficulties.
     At this stage special school placement is very difficult to arrange and the process
     of statutory assessment rarely does more than effectively delay a decision. It is
     generally much more appropriate to look for alternative education opportunities.
    Establishing a different system for allocating support for children and young
     people with significant physical difficulties but with no significant learning
     difficulties. At present it may seem that a statement is the only way of
     guaranteeing support.
    Implementing clearer and more consistently applied criteria to guide decisions
     about the need for statutory assessment and the resources to be allocated. At
     present it is not always clear why assessment has been agreed for one child or
     young person and not for another, for instance.




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                         Part E – Funding for SEN Provision

20    Context
Funding of SEN provision in Gateshead is largely historically based. Essentially,
specific provision has been established and assigned a budget which has remained
fixed, except for increases in line with general increases in education spending.
Funding has not been adjusted to reflect changes in the needs of the population
served nor has it been possible in any systematic way to re-assign funding to support
inclusion as fewer children attend the specialist provision. That is to say, there is no
consistent link between needs and budget allocation nor is funding allocated in a way
that is designed specifically to support inclusion4.
There is no doubt and, from the evidence of consultation, little disagreement that a
new funding model is required. However, the potential options depend critically on
the way in which SEN provision is planned to develop. Some funding issues have,
indeed, already been referred to in the options covered in other parts of this
document, particularly in relation to funding for children and young people with the
more common or so-called high incidence needs. Consequently, it is only realistic to
outline here the possible options for funding placements in specialist provision
(particularly provision that will probably continue to require a statement for access).

21    Funding: Option 1 – Staffing Lead Funding
Under this model, funding for special provision would be calculated on the basis of
the staffing and associated resources required for it to operate effectively. The
appropriate class sizes for the needs of the pupils and the relevant staff to pupil
ratios together with information about the appropriate staffing structures and physical
resource needs would be used for the calculation with the local authority determining
the number of places of various types it needed to be available. (i.e. the planned
place numbers.) Funding would then rise and fall in line with the number of planned
places although it would be necessary to have some arrangement to avoid abrupt
changes in the required number of places affecting the stability and even the viability
of the provision.
If, however, the number of planned places did fall as a result of increased inclusion,
this should progressively release resources to support that inclusion. Such a release
of resources could be in terms of actual funding but could also involve the alternative
deployment of teaching and support staff into outreach work.

22    Funding: Option 2 – Pupil Needs Lead Banding Model
Under this model, funding would be based on the needs of the children attending the
provision and their numbers. Funding would be used to determine the level of a
child’s needs and this would be linked to a particular level of funding. Specifically,
the full range of needs would be divided into a number of bands with each band
being assigned a funding level.
Funding for the specialist provision would then be based on the number of places in
each band planned for the provision and the funding level for those bands. The more


4
 Funding allocated to special provision may be, and often is, used to support inclusion but this is
despite rather than because of the funding regime.

                                                   19
places for children in the higher need bands, the greater the funding. The more in
the lower bands, the lower the funding.
As with option 1, it would be necessary to have some arrangement to avoid abrupt
changes in the required number of places affecting the stability and even the viability
of the provision but if the number of planned places did fall as a result of increased
inclusion, this should progressively release resources to support that inclusion.




                                          20
                      Appendix: Consultation Process

Consultation on this document will be carried out with a wide range of stakeholders,
including, in particular, the following groups:
   Parents and carers.
   Young people with SEN, if possible including some young people who have
    recently completed their education in school.
 School staff and governors.
 Council staff including educational support services staff.
 Staff of partner agencies including the health trusts, Connexions and the
    voluntary agencies.
 Other stakeholders.
The consultation document and a response sheet will be sent to all parents and
carers of children and young people with statements of SEN and to head teachers,
chairs of governors, managers of the Council’s education support services and
agency contacts. The document will also be sent out on request.
The document and response sheet will also be made available on the Council’s
website and the website of the Gateshead Children and Young People’s Trust. In
addition, arrangement will be made to publicise the consultation through the normal
communication routes used by the Council.
Stakeholders will be invited to a range of consultation meetings in October and early
November 2006 and invited to submit their views by the end of November 2006.
Special arrangements will be made through the schools to consult young people. As
appropriate, school councils, small focus groups and a small number of individual
interviews focusing on children with the greatest SEN, will be used. This consultation
exercise will be based on a young person’s version of the options document


September 2006          Consultation document
                     circulated to parents carers
                        and other stakeholders



October 2006         Consultation meetings held



November 2006         Written responses received        Young people’s consultation



January/                 Proposals published
February 2007




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