Plans proposed to cut three special needs resources in North Devon
PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:10 13 March 2018
Three special educational needs resources in North Devon look set to be cut as part of a county-wide review of services.
Orchard Vale Primary School’s speech and language resource, and East the Water Primary School and Bideford College’s hearing impairment resources are all earmarked for decommissioning from 2019.
The plans are part of Devon County Council’s strategic review of SEND provision, which will be brought before the council’s cabinet on Wednesday.
The report cites a lack of demand for both East the Water and Bideford College’s hearing impairment resources, with no children currently attending.
There are also no children on the roll of Orchard Vale’s speech and language resource.
The report says: “The plan highlights the review undertaken on resource bases within Devon’s schools to ensure they are meeting the needs of Devon learners and represent good value for money.
“It can be seen that due to low numbers, little or no parental preference and the intention to support learners in their local schools there is no longer demand for some centres.
“The future of these on the basis of decommissioning in 2019 will be subject to consultation, where required.”
The council has been boosted by £2.2million of funding from the Department for Education for its special provision fund over three years, with an extra £750,000 available each year.
The council plans to allocate £350,000 to its schools fund. A further £150,000 will also be allocated to resources in North Devon to expand the provision at Marland Day School.
It is hoped the money would help bring forward plans to extend the age for supporting primary school-aged pupils.
The report says: “The plan provides the evidence to increase provision to support students with social, emotional and mental health needs.
“Discussions are ongoing with the governing body of Marland School, a trust school, and they are able to bring forward proposals to expand Marland Day provision in North Devon and extend the age to support primary aged students.
“The final decision, following the consultation, will sit with the local authority.”