Additional provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is set to be agreed to help meet current and future needs and demands across the city.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council at its next cabinet meeting (January 17) is due to approve a programme for 88 additional SEND Resource / SEND unit places for pupils and provide a specialist satellite hub for 40 pupils to allow for a more bespoke service for children and young people and their families.
These proposals will build on the first phase of an existing programme which delivered 25 communication and interaction needs places for pupils aged three to seven years (up to Key Stage 1) in the St Bartholomew’s Belgrave Primary Academy Specialist SEN Unit.
Councillor Janine Bridges, cabinet member for education and the economy, said: “Children are our number one priority, we aim to provide the best opportunities for every child in our city, especially those with SEND, and we are committed to inclusion at all levels.
“This additional provision will allow us to deliver a bespoke service for every child with SEND. Working closely with schools, any problems within mainstream education will be identified early on and more targeted support with then be offered.
“This aligns with the Graduated Approach and our ambition to support more children and young people in mainstream settings wherever appropriate. This additional resource provision will provide added support, outreach services and interventions and will contribute to positive outcomes being achieved for vulnerable children and young people in Stoke-on-Trent.”
This follows on from the city council receiving additional High Needs Education Capital as part of the Department for Education’s DfE ‘safety valve’ programme in 2021. The funding from the DfE has allowed the council to extend its special education needs offer to better meet needs and improve outcomes in a more effective way.