8 February 2016

Consultation starts on special educational needs plans

Preliminary consultation has started on detailed plans to reorganise special needs education provision in Brighton & Hove. 

The proposals aim to:

  • Integrated special provision across education, health and care for all children with complex special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in special schools and pupil referral units
  • Offer an extended curriculum with more activities beyond the school day
  • Achieve a more efficient and financially viable pattern of provision by restructuring the current six special schools and two pupil referral units to form three integrated special provisions across the city.

This preliminary consultation runs until April 22. It is being promoted through the council’s website and via local disabilities support charity Amaze. Other voluntary and community groups are being contacted directly, and the consultation will also be promoted through internal communications channels at the council, the local NHS and schools.

Click here to get involved in the consultation or:

  • email your comments to sendreview@brighton-hove.gov.uk
  • leave a voicemail on 01273 293232
  • send your completed questionnaire to: SEND Team, Room 300, BHCC, King’s House, Grand Avenue, Hove BN3 2LS.

Feedback from this preliminary consultation will be used to help shape a formal consultation process that is due to begin in June. The changes proposed would be phased in over the next four years in order to minimise any possible disruption.

The chair of the council’s children, young people and skills committee, Councillor Tom Bewick, said: “We want to make sure we are able to engage fully with everyone who may be affected by any changes.

“I would like to make it clear that everyone who is assessed as needing special educational needs or social emotional mental health support would continue to receive support that meets their needs.

“The proposals do not reduce the number of specialist school places – indeed they will show a small increase overall.

“We want to reduce management and buildings costs where we can, and to reinvest the money in delivering the full range of services that families are asking for.

“I would stress that there would be no reduction to overall numbers of teachers or teaching assistants in our special schools.”