Since 2017, Esteem has been working with Hull City Council to improve facilities for children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND). Here’s an update on some of the things we’ve achieved, and what’s still to come.
Establishing a plan
Following an inspection of SEND across the city, Esteem was appointed by Hull City Council to produce a SEND Sufficiency Strategy.
The Council has a legal duty to provide enough school places for all pupils who live in Hull, including those with special educational needs, and there are increasing numbers of children and young people with an Education Health and Care Plan in the city. The strategy identified the need for more variety of learning environments, so that SEND children can get the additional support they need, and set out plans to make sure there are enough specialist school places available to those pupils that need them.
What are our options?
Esteem, in partnership with Hull City Council and suppliers, have been considering how the local authority can address the shortfall in SEND places.
We’ve been looking at several options which can provide solutions to address immediate requirements, and can plan for the future:
• Utilisation of space: What current assets do we have across the educational estate, and how well are they being used? Are there underused rooms or buildings which could be used for the delivery of education for SEND pupils?
• Placement: Are facilities in the correct place, and will they be in the right place in future when forecasted demand changes?
• Adaptations: Do we need to build new schools, or are adaptations to existing facilities more appropriate? Each solution requires different levels of investment and time – from changing around existing space, to building extensions, to using Modern Methods of Construction to build facilities offsite.
We are currently working on six feasibility studies for SEND projects, and hope to bring you more news on these in the new year.
A success story: Northcott School
Northcott School in Bransholme is a special, co-educational school for pupils with autism, Asperger’s, and other special educational needs.
This year four extra classrooms were built at the school, which will not only add much needed capacity for SEND pupils in the city, but will also allow students to stay with the school longer. Until the school’s expansion, pupils had to leave the school at age 16, but now the extra space will allow them to stay until they are 19.
A success story: Broadacre Primary School
The new £8.2m Broadacre Primary School was the first school in Hull to have a purpose-built space for children with autistic spectrum conditions. School staff and the Council’s SEND advisory team were actively involved in the design process for the new school, ensuring that the school set the bar for inclusive education.