Proposals published for additional SEND provision in Cumberland

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On 4 June, Cumberland Council published formal proposals to establish 58 additional Resource Provision placements for children and young people with SEND in several schools and academies across the Cumberland area.

Resourced Provisions operate within a mainstream school, designed to provide specialist and targeted support for children and young people with an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP). Children accessing a Resourced Provision will be on the roll of the mainstream school and will be fully supported by specialist staff and the staff of the mainstream school working in partnership. The report to the executive today highlighted the importance of these Resource Provision places in the Cumberland area, as the demand for specialist places continues to increase.

The proposals would see 26 Resource Provision places being created at Cumberland Council maintained schools across Carlisle, Millom, and Cleator Moor, and an additional 32 places at Academy schools in Carlisle, Maryport, and Whitehaven.

If approved, the proposals would ensure that children and young people’s needs can be met closer to their homes, and that Cumberland is taking action to ensure all children and young people can access education in a supportive setting that meets their individual needs. The proposed new 58 places would support children with a variety of SEND needs, including autism, severe learning difficulties, SEMH (social, emotional, mental health needs), physical and medical needs, and speech, language and communication needs.

The formal proposals will be brought to an Executive meeting in July for a final decision.

Emma Hamer, Assistant Director for Education, SEND and Inclusion said:

“The demand for specialist education places for children and young people with SEND is a national issue. In Cumberland our population is spread far further than in other areas of the country, therefore we must continue to take a creative and innovative approach to develop much needed specialist provision across our area. These proposals go towards us ensuring we can support our children and young people and their families and that they have access to education provision closer to their homes.

“These proposals are a positive milestone in ensuring the development of specialist provision in Cumberland goes in the right direction. More development of specialist provision places is needed and we hope that the councillors will approve the proposals in July and Cumberland Council can move forward with the next steps. A full, accessible and well-rounded education is vital for children and young people’s wellbeing and development, and these provisions will ensure that more children and young people in the community can access the specialist support they need.”