Agenda Item No
DERBYSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
5 September 2006
Report of the Strategic Director for Children and Younger Adults
THE REVIEW OF SPECIAL EDUCATION IN DERBYSHIRE
CHILDREN AND YOUNGER ADULT SERVICES
- (Children’s Services)
1. Purpose of Report This report summarises the consultation on the review and sets out modified proposals taking account of the consultation and of other developments in Children and Younger Adult Services.
2. Information and Analysis On 14 February 2006, the Cabinet agreed to consult on the recommendations of the report on special education in Derbyshire Children’s Services.
Two hundred and forty-five people attended sixteen consultation meetings across Derbyshire between then and 26 May.
One hundred and thirty one questionnaires were received. There were sixty-nine letters in response.
Appendix A analyses the responses to consultation.
The framework of the review and its general recommendations received broad support. Those who responded:
; support our aim of services for children and young people with
learning disabilities and difficulties working together.
; think the proposals in the review will help meet children’s
; agree that we should continue with a mix of provision in
mainstream and special schools.
; are happy that we should seek to get best value by meeting
Derbyshire children’s needs in Derbyshire schools, where we
can do this successfully for the child.
; agree with our plans to develop more specialist provision both
in special and enhanced resource mainstream schools.
; support our proposals for early intervention and work with the
Four review proposals and one established policy received a high level of comment. Where replies did not agree with the review in general, this usually appeared to be because of one or more of these issues.
； Parents and some schools wanted further assurance about the
policy agreed in January 2003 of meeting children’s special
educational needs with less reliance on Statements.
； The SSSEN team and trade unions representing members of the
team set out their concerns about the proposed restructuring of
the service and advanced their own proposal.
； There was concern in the Alfreton area about combining
Alfreton Park and The Delves special schools or co-locating
them with a mainstream school.
； A number of respondents thought the review should have
included provision, other than that in special schools, for
children and young people with behavioural, emotional and
social difficulties, and said there were gaps in our provision.
； Replies said a good deal of further work was needed to develop
Working Together for children and young people with learning
difficulties and disabilities.
Appendix B sets out the Review recommendations, some of which have been modified in the light of views expressed during the consultation. Some of the recommendations in the original report have also been modified because of further developments in the Children and Younger Adults Department. While some recommendations are covered by existing policy, others require the preparation of specific proposals for consultation and further consideration by the Cabinet.
3. Other Considerations In preparing this report the relevance of the following factors has been considered:- Prevention of Crime and Disorder, Equality of Opportunity; and Environmental, Health, Legal and Human Rights, Personnel and Property Considerations.
4. Background Papers Notes or copies of all responses to the
consultation are held by the Children and Younger Adults
Department and available for inspection.
5. Key Decision Yes.
6. Strategic Director’s Recommendation That the Cabinet notes the
responses to the consultation, considers the detailed
recommendations contained in Appendix B to the report, and
agrees to the preparation of a proposed plan for implementing the
recommendations with detailed costs.
Appendix A to Report to Cabinet
5 September 2006
Analysis of Responses to Consultation on the Review Report
th February, 2006, Cabinet agreed to consult on the report on the On 28
review of special education begun in November, 2003.
This paper shows the level of response, and summarises the replies.
2. The Process of Consultation
Sixteen public meetings were held, chaired by Members or in one case by an officer. Officers made a presentation and noted the discussion.
Table A: Public consultation meetings
Venue Date Numbers attending
Aldercar 20 March 7
Alfreton 15 March 31
Ashbourne 15 May 9
Belper 27 April 17
Bolsover 14 March 3
Buxton 4 April 20
Buxton 19 May 23
Chapel en le Frith 16 March 15
Chesterfield 26 April 14
Chesterfield 17 May 29
Clay Cross 22 May 5
Glossop 3 April 12
Heanor 23 May 8
Ilkeston 9 March 6
Long Eaton 24 April 25
Matlock 22 March 6
Newhall 16 May 3
Swadlincote 27 March 12
Total attendance 245
thThe twelve meetings up to 27 April were publicised by a circular to head teachers and governors, through the Council website, and by information to early years settings. Small posters were sent out.
People appeared likeliest to come if there were local issues, as at Alfreton (special schools).
Table B: Meetings with specific groups or provisions
Date Meeting with:
2 March Local Inclusion Officer Service
7 March Services for Physically, Visually
and Hearing Impaired Children
9 March Alfreton Park School Head
10 March Support Service for Special
14 March Secondary Heads’ Forum
14 March Educational Psychology Service
15 March Derbyshire Governors
16 March Schools JCC
16 March Special Schools Forum
17 March Behaviour Support Service
28 March SSSEN Advisory Panel
29 March Derbyshire Governors Course
5 April Autism Outreach Management
5 April Alfreton Park School and The
Delves School Staff, Parents and
6 April Support Service for Preschool
Children with Special Educational
11 April Special Education Section Team
11 April South Derbyshire Local
26 April Head Teacher Mortimer Wilson
2 May Peak School Staff
2 May Peak School Governors
3 May Stubbin Wood School Governors
4 May The Delves School Staff and
4 May Ashgate Croft School Staff
4 May Ashgate Croft School Governors
8 May High Peak Enhanced Resource
Schools Cluster Group
9 May Bennerley Fields School
10 May Spire Infant School Staff
17 May High Peak and Derbyshire Dales
Secondary SEN Co-Ordinators’
18 May Early Years and Child Care
Service Inclusion Team 24 May Holbrook Centre for Autism Staff 25 May Support Service for Special
5 June* Peak School Residential Staff 6 June The Pingle School
12 June Glossopdale Community College 12 June Aldercar Community Language
16 June Holly House School
21 June Belper area SENCOs th May were requested during the consultation period, *Meetings after 26
but needed to be held after the close of consultation to fit school diaries
or existing group schedules.
2.2 Questionnaire and letters
A questionnaire was distributed by leaflets, an article in “Insight” and on-line.
Table C Responses by response slip and E-consultation
(Some people answered in more than one capacity, so the numbers
broken down by type of person answering add up to more than the total)
Type of response
Response leaflet Total received 131
School or college 7
E-form Total received 19
A number of letters and papers were received in the course of consultation.
Table D Letters and papers in response to report
Type of person or body replying Number of replies
Governing body 1
Mainstream teacher or head 6
Special school teacher or head 10
Early years setting manager or 1
Local Authority support service 18
Teacher in Local Authority 4
Teacher trade union or 3
Connexions Derbyshire 1
Primary Care Trusts 3
LEA officer 1
School pupil 1
Voluntary organisation 4
School council 1
Speech and language therapy 1
2.3 Engaging young people
We tried hard to engage children and young people. Many Derbyshire schools are developing Schools Councils. We wrote to every school to try to engage school councils, and offered a small incentive, but there was only one reply. It was surprising that no special school submitted school council views.
Fairplay carried out a small scale consultation, which suggested that pupils with additional needs were generally happy in both mainstream and special schools. Work with Fairplay, Umbrella and Parent Partnership suggested we needed to look at developing a consultation approach taking in all children with additional needs.
We got some responses to consultation from pupils in mainstream secondary schools.
We tried to consult with young people looked after by local authorities, as they are over-represented in special educational needs provision. We tried to ask what they thought via the CareZone website, but there were no responses. This may be a result of the structure of this national site.
Knowing the views of children and young people with learning difficulties and disabilities is important and we need a system which makes sure we know them.
2.4 Views about how we consulted
Some parents said they had not learned of the meetings through schools.
The Authority relies on schools, settings and services to let people know of consultations like this one. Posters in schools seemed most helpful in telling parents. More investment in posters might have been effective.
Staff from SSSEN thought reorganisation of their service should have been a headline proposal in the consultation leaflet. They thought schools and parents might not know that we intended to alter SSSEN.
However, we sent the review report to every head teacher, by e-mail and on paper. It made very clear what we proposed. SSSEN teachers in consultation emphasised their own close links with primary schools. They understood the proposals of the review by early March. It is very unlikely that the limited response to the proposals was simply because people did not know about them.
The head teacher of Mortimer Wilson School contacted parents by letter to draw their attention to review proposals regarding possible co-location of special schools. There was some concern that the report did not say where the schools would be co-located. However, we do not know this. It would depend on consultations and decisions that can only take place when and if the Alfreton area is considered under Building Schools for the Future.
The e-consultation produced a small response. Some people complained of insufficient space on the e-form for free text comments.
Many people found it hard to get to the review and consultation documents in the Derbyshire website. For example, you reached them by a site search on “Special education review” but not on “SEN review”.
Consultation partners were circulated with the review documents. Table
E shows who was contacted and who replied.
Table E: Consultation Partners circulated with review report and
Alderwasley Hall School Amber Valley Borough Council Association for School and College Leaders
Association of Educational Psychologists
Association of Teachers and ;Lecturers
Bolsover District Council Cheshire County Council Chesterfield Borough Council Chesterfield College Clerks to Justices, Derby, Buxton, Chesterfield and Ilkeston
Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust DCC Chief Officers Department for Education and Skills – James Muncey
Department for Education and Skills – Pauline Smith
Derby City Education Service Derby College Derby Deaf Children’s Society Derby Diocesan Board of Education
Derby Dyslexia Institute Derbyshire Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus
Derbyshire Association for the Blind
Derbyshire Autism Services Group
Derbyshire Chamber of Commerce and Business Link
Derbyshire Coalition for Integrated Living
Derbyshire Connexions ; Derbyshire County Councillors ;(1)