The provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) is under review and a new SEN strategy is due to be developed and implemented in Peterborough sometime during 2013. Already the local authority have discovered:
• Too much funding is being targeted at high needs children. This money is arguably better spent in early intervention services.
• We have a number of enhanced resource provision in schools supporting particular needs such as autism and behaviour. These need reviewing.
• We do not have specialist support / provision for primary aged children with severe behaviour difficulties
• Our special schools are full and their specialist provision needs to be reviewed in light of the changing needs across the city.
• Outcomes for children with SEN need to be improved.
• We are sending too many children to out of city placements – there may be better options to support them within the city.
Commenting, local LIB DEM ward councillor Darren Fower, who attended the meeting where the report was presented, said:
“It’s one thing to know about a childs needs and another thing to actually address them. I’ve been involved in situations whereby young people with ADHD were not even statmented and then were removed from a school!
“Clearly we need a clear and precise plan to ensure the needs of children in this city are being met! It seems that we need enhanced resource provision for supporting autism and behaviour, for example, the Council has NO specialist support / provision for primary aged children with severe behaviour difficulties and yet our special schools are full!
“The Council even admit that they are sending too many children to out of city placements – but what at what cost and why are the local authority not providing simultaneous employment and services in the city? It really does make you wonder sometimes!”