Parents, families and school workers will be among those encouraged to help shape a new strategy for improving outcomes for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in West Northamptonshire.
At their meeting next week (Tuesday, 8 November), West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet will discuss plans to co-produce a new three-year joint strategy to address the current shortfall of specialist school places in the area and plan resources more effectively to better meet the needs of SEND children and their families.
To help shape the new strategy, children and young people, parents, school-based staff, health and care professionals and other interested organisations will be involved in the development of a new Co-production Charter. This will be developed during a series of events set to take place between November and February 2023, supported by the Northamptonshire Parent Forum Group, which represents parents’ voices in West Northants.
Plans are already underway by WNC for improving SEND provision, with a new 250 place SEND school at Tiffield, given the go ahead in September, in addition to the creation of 50 new specialist places at Hunsbury Park Primary School.
A proposal to extend Northgate School Arts College in Queens Park Parade, Kingsthorpe, which caters to almost 250 autistic students, was also submitted earlier this year.
Cllr Fiona Baker, WNC’s Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education, said: “We understand that young people do not all have the same requirements, however they all deserve access to the best available education and learning that meets their individual needs. We recognise and hear the impact that the current shortfall of special school places is having on children and their families and we are committed to addressing this challenge.
Improving outcomes for SEND children that meet their individual requirements is a top priority for our council, and lots of work is happening towards creating the additional special school places we need in our area.
“We need to build on this further and set out a fresh strategy for further improving SEND provision in the future, but we will only be able to produce this with the involvement of local families, schools and other partners as their views and experiences are central to developing this successfully.
Find out more about SEND provision in Northamptonshire on the WNC website.