PLANS to educate more special needs pupils closer to home are at the heart of a new plan under consultation.
Parents, carers and schools are taking part in a countywide consultation over the future of Staffordshire’s special educational needs and disability (SEND) strategy for children and young people aged 25 and under.
Future plans include improving support and inclusion for children with SEND in mainstream schools, improving service provision and making processes simpler.
Mark Sutton, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Children and Young People, said: “The intention is simple, we want all children with special educational needs and disabilities to be able to reach their potential by receiving the right support at the right time in their own communities, at their local school or place of education.
“We have already developed several pilot schemes, where people are working together in their communities to reshape SEND support and we want to share their knowledge with the rest of Staffordshire.
“The good news is that we’re starting from a strong base. All Staffordshire’s special schools are rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, the number of people with SEND in education, employment and training is good, and we have improved the online help and advice available.”
Latest figures show that in Staffordshire:
- There are more than 15,800 pupils with special educational needs, which is approximately 13 per cent of the children and young people in education;
- Over the last five years there has been a 33 per cent increase in the number SEND pupils requiring high needs support;
- Children with SEND experience higher rates of permanent exclusion from school.
Mark Sutton added: “The increasing demand in Staffordshire is no different to the rest of the country and it’s clear that we have make sure every young person receives the help they need.
“The feedback is clear, parents want us to work closely with families to allow their children to live as safely and independently as possible and for them to learn and achieve as much as possible in their own communities.”
Parents, carers, users and education providers are all being contacted but the consultation is open to all interested parties. It runs until 21st December 2018 and more information can be found by clicking here or by going to www.staffordshire.gov.uk and searching ‘special educational needs and disability strategy’.