The Executive has approved plans totalling £8m capital spend to ensure that the changing needs of children and young people with SEND can continue to be supported locally
Recent data shows an increase in the number of children with autism and social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH), across the country, as well as in York. Given this, the Executive were asked to approve schemes to meet the needs of the growing SEND provision at their meeting earlier this week (22 November).
This included proposals for five capital projects, which will enable more children and young people to be supported in mainstream schools and ensure that current provision can evolve to meet the changing needs of children and young people with SEND.
The schemes have been planned in response to national and local data about changing SEND needs, together with the detailed feedback from York’s Inclusion Review survey, which sought the views of parents and carers of children and young people with SEND, together with professionals working in the sector, in 2021.
It's hoped that the projects will enable most children and young people with SEND to get the support they need locally. These will also enable the council to more effectively manage its budget in the long term which, like many other local authorities, has experienced significant pressures due to increased demand.
The approved capital schemes are:
- Developing St Paul’s Nursery Enhanced Resource Provision - The £1.2m scheme will develop the existing enhanced resource provision in the maintained nursery, creating an early years support hub focused on Communication and Interaction needs.
- Expansion of Haxby Road Enhanced Resource Provision - The £1.4m project will create a new Enhanced Resource Provision to support children in mainstream primary school with autism and SEMH. The new facility will be run as a ‘second site’ to the existing enhanced provision at Haxby Road Primary School.
- Huntington School Enhanced Resource Provision - The £1.8m project will create accessible facilities for young people in mainstream secondary school, with complex communication and interaction needs, particularly those with autism and anxiety disorders. The three-year project will create a new three new classrooms, break out facilities, sensory rooms and a hygiene suite.
- Specialist SEMH Sufficiency - A consultation with education providers in January will look at ways of providing local, specialist support to the very small number of children and young people who have been permanently excluded from their school. Creating a more localised solution will enable the existing mixed-use facility at Dansegate to focus solely on providing specialist support to children and young people with autism and SEMH.
- Applefields School - The three year, £2.1m project will continue to develop and enhance existing provision at Applefields Special School, adapting and restructuring classrooms and upgrading the hoist and hydrotherapy pool.
Councillor Andrew Waller, the council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said:
These capital projects are important to ensuring schools across the city can continue to meet the changing needs of children and young people with SEND in York now, and in the future.
"Crucially, this work will enable us to have the right provision in place to support most children in mainstream schools, where they can learn and develop alongside peers from their local communities, supporting our aim to ensure that all children in York have a better start in life.
“We will continue to work with parents and schools to respond to requests for more support, and make the case to central government that this service receives the necessary funding.”
Find out about the SEND provision in York.