Report of the Director of Children and Adults Services.
The Cabinet Member with the Adult Social Care Portfolio introduced the report of the Director of Children and Adults Services (previously circulated) updating Members on the outcome of the recent public consultation undertaken; requesting that consideration be given to the updated Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Strategy (2019-2022) (also previously circulated), which summarises the strategic plan for delivering better outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs; and requesting that consideration be given to the changes to the funding model for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) (also previously circulated).
The submitted report stated that the consultation for the proposed SEND Strategy (2019-2022) took place in October 2018; positive responses were received on the strategic objectives contained with the strategy; outlined the proposed changes to the funding arrangements for SEND, which aimed to ensure a transparent, clear and fair allocation of funding, following a needs led ‘money following the child’ approach which also addressed budgetary pressures; stated that transition funding arrangements had been put in place to mitigate against the impact of the changes to the new funding arrangements; and outlined the commissioning intentions to extend local SEND provision so that more Darlington children with SEND would be educated locally.
The Chair of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee addressed Cabinet in relation to the consultation that had been undertaken in respect of the Travel Assistance Policy and the SEND Strategy; the positive feedback received from parents; and the recommendations of the Children and Young People Scrutiny.
A number of questions and issues were raised at the meeting, including the involvement of health in the consultation process; how the feedback would be used; lack of provision in Darlington for children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP); the number of expressions of interest received on the revised commissioning intensions; bandings; accessing CAMHS; assessments undertaken on children with autism; and the importance of providing the right support at the right place for all children. The Head of Education and Inclusion and Director of Children and Adults Services responded thereon.
RESOLVED – (a) That the feedback from the public consultation undertaken, as appended to the submitted report, be considered.
(b) That the Equalities Impact Assessment, as appended to the submitted report, be noted.
(c) That the adoption of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Strategy (2019-2022), as appended to the submitted report, be approved.
(d) That the implementation of the revised funding model for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), as detailed in the submitted report, be approved.
REASON – (a) To drive the work of the SEND partnership in Darlington through to 2022 to deliver the best possible outcomes for children and young people with SEND and their families.
(b) To address pressures on the high needs funding block budget.
(c) To ensure that school funding for children with SEND is aligned to children and their needs, and that schools are held accountable for ensuring that children’s needs are effectively met.