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     Agenda Item No

    DERBYSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

    CABINET

    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

    needs.

    ; 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.

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    ; 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

    youngest children.

    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.

    Page 2

    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.

    Page 3

     REVIEW OF

    SPECIAL EDUCATION

    IN DERBYSHIRE

    CHILDREN AND

    YOUNGER ADULT

    SERVICES

    Appendix A to Report to Cabinet

    th

    5 September 2006

    Analysis of Responses to Consultation on the Review Report

    Page 1

    1. Introduction

     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

    2.1 Meetings

    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).

    Page 2

    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

    Teacher

    10 March Support Service for Special

    Educational Needs

    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

    Group

    5 April Alfreton Park School and The

    Delves School Staff, Parents and

    Governors

    6 April Support Service for Preschool

    Children with Special Educational

    Needs

    11 April Special Education Section Team

    11 April South Derbyshire Local

    Implementation Group

    26 April Head Teacher Mortimer Wilson

    School

    2 May Peak School Staff

    2 May Peak School Governors

    3 May Stubbin Wood School Governors

    4 May The Delves School Staff and

    Parents

    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

    Governors

    10 May Spire Infant School Staff

    17 May High Peak and Derbyshire Dales

    Secondary SEN Co-Ordinators’

    Page 3

    Group

    18 May Early Years and Child Care

    Service Inclusion Team 24 May Holbrook Centre for Autism Staff 25 May Support Service for Special

    Educational Needs

    5 June* Peak School Residential Staff 6 June The Pingle School

    12 June Glossopdale Community College 12 June Aldercar Community Language

    College

    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

    (printed leaflet,

    photocopy, etc)

     Parent/carer/close 79

    family member

     Teacher 27

     Governor 13

     School or college 7

    student

     Unidentified 20

    E-form Total received 19

     Parent/carer/close 16

    family member

     Teacher 3

     Governor 1`

    Page 4

    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

    Parent/carer 13

    Councillor 1

    Governing body 1

    Mainstream teacher or head 6

    Special school teacher or head 10

    Early years setting manager or 1

    professional

    Local Authority support service 18

    Teacher in Local Authority 4

    support service

    Teacher trade union or 3

    professional body

    Connexions Derbyshire 1

    Primary Care Trusts 3

    LEA officer 1

    School pupil 1

    Voluntary organisation 4

    School council 1

    Speech and language therapy 1

    services

     69

    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.

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    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”.

    Page 6

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

    responses received

    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)

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