Cabinet backs £113k spend at Kenilworth primary school for SEND places

By James Smith

15th May 2024 | Local News

The funding will be spent at Park Hill Junior School (image by James Smith)
The funding will be spent at Park Hill Junior School (image by James Smith)

Leading Warwickshire councillors have backed a £113,000 spend at a Kenilworth primary school to make space for eight more children with special educational needs.

Park Hill Junior School will receive the funding alongside others in Leamington Spa, Nuneaton and Bedworth as part of the county council's plans to reduce its overspend on SEND services.

A council report shows the number of pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) in Warwickshire has increased annually by nine per cent over the past five years, and is expected to continue to rise.

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) has recently revealed a massive deficit in its SEND spending, and wants to increase the number of specialist resourced provision places in schools from 200 to 500 by 2028.

Allowing children with an EHCP to be taught in a mainstream school is said to be more "cost-effective".

The funding for Park Hill Junior School will pay for some remodelling of an "underutilised" part of the school to create a staff admin room, calm room, reading area and toilet off the main classroom. 

A raised outdoor play area will also be created at the Parkfield Drive site.

"The continued development of specialist resourced provision across the county enables pupils with an education, health and care plan (EHCP), who are cognitively able to access the curriculum, to have their needs met and benefit from being located on site alongside a mainstream school environment," a council report said. 

It added: "The establishment of the specialist resourced provision will not impact on the school's current published admission numbers. 

"Admissions to the specialist resourced provisions follow a different procedure from that operating for the rest of the school. 

"Admissions into the specialist resourced provision will be through the Warwickshire County Council process for specialist admissions."

A public consultation about the changes to Park Hill was launched last year with 18 responses sent to the council.

Of those 89 per cent agreed with adding the places, while the remainder did not support adding the specialist resourced provision.

The council wants the places available for September 2024.

Read the council report here.

     

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