High Needs Review and the Special Provisions Fund

In January 2018, we completed a strategic review of high need provision for children and young people aged (0-25) with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), who live in County Durham or are looked after by Durham County Council. The review was carried out with local stakeholders and included opportunities for parents, carers, children and young people to be involved.

We used the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi), who have conducted reviews for other similar sized local authorities and have facilitated the Department for Education’s SEND Leadership Programme, to undertake the independent review on behalf of Durham County Council and our partners.

The final review report has been published which identifies some recommendations. You can view the report below:

To implement the review and its findings we set up a multi-agency steering group, including Making Changes Together (MCT) our local parent carer forum.

The High Needs Steering Group, working with MCT, will produce a High Needs Action Plan. The first edition will be published on 30 April 2018. The plan will set out the steps that will be taken to address and embed the reviews recommendations.

The High Needs Review findings and recommendations have also informed planning for the new Special Provision Fund allocated to County Durham. 

The Special Provision Fund is a new, one off capital investment from the Department for Education (DfE). County Durham will receive £1.3 million to help ensure that good school places for all pupils, including those with SEN and disabilities are provided. For full guidance please see SEND provision capital funding for pupils with EHC plans on Gov.uk.

As a result of the review it is proposed that the Special Provision Fund will be used to create additional enhanced mainstream provision for children and young people with social, communication and interaction needs (including autism). The fund will also support improvements to the physical environment in schools, creating provision that best understands and meets need.

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