Increasing support for children with special education

Cllr Adam Wilkinson

Options to increase capacity for specialist education provision in Calderdale are being discussed at the meeting of Calderdale’s Cabinet on Monday 11 March 2024.

The shortage of specialist school placements is a national issue and one which is reflected locally. The number of children in Calderdale requiring an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) has risen significantly in recent years, with subsequent demand for specialist places and ongoing pressures on Council budgets.

Despite these challenges Calderdale Council is committed to supporting those with complex needs and has been working to expand and increase the number of specialist placements. 

Additional placements have previously been created within existing specialist providers at Highbury, Woodbank and Ravenscliffe schools. This includes the creation of Highbury hubs within Withinfields and Copley mainstream schools and additional spaces at Woodbank, in partnership with Luddenden C of E, Primary School.

There are also plans to increase places at Ravenscliffe Secondary School this year and next and expressions of interest have been sent out to all mainstream primary and secondary schools to develop more high quality additional resource provisions for pupils with special education needs, within mainstream settings.

Despite this additional capacity, there is still a significant shortfall in the number of specialist places required within the borough, especially for those with more complex needs. Cabinet Members will now consider options to increase capacity to meet the continued and likely growing future demand for appropriate high-quality specialist provision in Calderdale. All additional specialist placements will require significant investment from capital budgets,

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, Cllr Adam Wilkinson, said:

“We want all children in Calderdale to achieve their best and we do all we can to ensure that young people receive a high-quality education which meets their needs and enables them to thrive.

“Calderdale has outstanding maintained primary and secondary special schools for children with additional needs and we have already introduced measures at these sites and within mainstream schools to meet the ongoing increased demand for places.

“We understand how important it is for families to be able to access high quality provision closer to home. We’re therefore looking at options to further increase specialist places within the borough, to ensure that provision and support are in place to meet the needs of our young people.”

The report ‘Increasing special school places for children with Special Education Needs’ will be considered at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday 11 March at Halifax Town Hall, from 3pm. The meeting can also be viewed online at link)

This entry was posted in Children, Education and learning. Bookmark the permalink.