SEND Provision Consultation - March 2018

Educational Provision for Pupils with Special Education Needs and Disability in St Helens (SEND) March 2018

We are undertaking a review of educational provision in St Helens. Educational Provision means our schools and the support provided to meet the educational needs of children with SEND.

Why do we need to do this?

We would like to meet the needs of all St Helens children, as far as possible, so that they can be educated within their local community.

The majority of children with special educational needs and disability can have their needs met within mainstream schools through good quality teaching and tailored support. However, we recognise that a small number of children will need to be educated in more targeted or specialised settings.

The Government provides local areas with a grant for educational places. This is a fixed sum of money and within this we have to ensure that there is a fair and equitable use of the funds available.
There are 26,000 pupils in St Helens Schools, 17.9% have an identified special educational need.

At present in St Helens we have 63 mainstream schools, 3 of these have more specialist help for children with Autism or moderate learning difficulties (resourced bases within the school). These are:

  • Rectory Primary School (Autism & MLD)
  • De La Salle Secondary (Autism)
  • Haydock High Secondary (MLD

We also have 3 special schools for children with more complex learning difficulties/disabilities. These are:

  • Lansbury Bridge Reception – Reception - Y11
  • Mill Green Y9 – Y14
  • Penkford Y4-Y11

Together this provides St Helens with 455 specialist places, plus 75 places within our Pupil Referral Unit. In addition to this, St Helens commissions places for 75 pupils in independent special schools. Over a number of years, we have seen rising demand for specialist educational provision. This ranges from increased demand for funding to support children in mainstream education to requests for special school places and despite an increase in the number of places within our specialist provisions this continues to rise.

We need to consider how we ensure that we have the right provision which instils confidence in both schools and families that children and young people’s needs are being met and positive outcomes are achieved.
A valuable part of the review, is knowing what you think and we would like to give you the opportunity to tell us your ideas for how we can improve the offer

Specialist Provision Capital Fund: Short Plan

Alongside the development of an overarching strategic plan, the Department for Education (DfE) announced all Local Authorities would receive a share of a special provision fund, to make capital investments in provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.

This consultation document sets out the background to the funding and how you can make your views and representations known.

The Government has committed £215 million of capital funding to help local authorities create new school places and improve existing facilities for children and young people with SEN and disabilities, in consultation with parents and providers.
For St Helens, £500,000 of specialist provision capital funding has been allocated over a three-year period between 2018-19 and 2020-21 as follows:

St Helens - Specialist Provision Capital Funding

2018/19 Allocation £166,667
2019/20 Allocation £166,667
2020/21 Allocation £167,667
Total Allocation £500,00


The Children and Families Act 2014 requires local authorities to keep the provision for children and young people with SEN and disabilities under review (including its sufficiency), working with parents, young people, and providers. In this context St Helens LA will have to consider how best to use their capital allocation from the special provision fund to support them in their plans to meet local need.

Criteria and requirements

The funding allocation is intended for children and young people with an EHC plan for whom the authority is responsible. This funding has to be used to increase the number of places and improve facilities for children and young people who have Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCPs). We have to publish a plan for how we will use this funding by 14th March 2018, and then update and republish the plan each year. This is outlined in the DfE guidance which can be accessed at:

Specialist Provision Proposals

St Helens LA is committed to improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND. The number of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) being issued has also increased, as has the demand for places in special schools. To help meet this demand we need to develop special school provision in the borough. We recognise that there has been investment in new buildings for our pupils with Autism and Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties in Lansbury Bridge and Mill Green.

The priority for the capital funding will therefore be to invest in the refurbishment of borough's SEMH Special School and aimed at improving the facilities for our pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs.

Specialist Provision Capital Plan


Plan for Specialist Provision Capital Funding

Subject to Council Cabinet's consideration of consultation responses and approval of proposals, the Council's plan for spending the specialist provision capital funding, including how the funding will be specifically allocated, will be published on the Local Offer website in Summer 2018.

Who are we consulting?

We are consulting with the public on our proposals, specifically the following groups requesting their views;

  • Parents, carers and young people;
  • Schools and other Education providers, including governors;
  • Staff.


Consultation will take place between 13th March and 11th May 2018. We are asking questions about our proposals and for any other ideas and suggestions. If you wish to respond to the consultation please do so completing our survey by 5pm on 11th May 2018.

You will not receive an individual response to any comment submitted, but following closure of the consultation, the Council will carefully consider all responses and the outcome of the consultation is likely to be reported to Council Cabinet, when decisions will be taken on the proposals in light of responses received. We will publish a short plan regarding how it intends making the capital investment provided under this central government funding. The plan will be published on the Local Offer page.


The purpose of the Local Offer is to enable parents and young people to see more clearly what services are available for children with special educational needs and disabilities in their area, and how to access them.

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