Purpose of report
To seek approval to commence the statutory process to change the age range of Willows Centre for Children from 2 - 5 year old pupils to 2 - 7 year old pupils. This will allow the school to provide specialist education for up to 18 year 1 pupils with an appropriate Education Health & Childcare Plan (EHCP).
RECOMMENDED that the Cabinet Member authorises the Director of Children, Families and Education to proceed to the representation stage of the statutory process by publishing a proposal to change the age range of Willows Centre for Children School and Nursery to 2 - 7 years.
(TAKE IN REPORT)
The report was introduced by Caroline Corcoran, Head of Sufficiency, Participation and Resources. She advised a report on the outcome of the consultation would be brought to the March 2018 Education Cabinet.
Councillor Horton said the decisions on the high needs were sensible but were short term and SEN are growing year on year perhaps other strategies are needed. The Cabinet Member and Mike Stoneman advised that a SEND strategic review is taking place by the Head of Inclusion's team and it was anticipated this review would be completed by the end of March. The Director of Children, Families and Education added that there are a number of risks that the council need to assess in relation to this and the paper refers to one of the mitigating strategies on the high needs block being the remodelling of current specialist provision in the city. This depends on investment decisions that have not been taken yet and if the council is unable to do the remodelling the risk of pressure on the high needs block will increase.
The Cabinet Member said this change was necessary and was happy to authorise the proposal to proceed to the representation stage.
The Cabinet Member authorised the Director of Children, Families and Education to proceed to the representation stage of the statutory process by publishing proposals to change the age range of Willow Centre for Children School and Nursery to 2-7 years.