Lincolnshire County Council's Children's Services has been working with all special school head teachers and Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum to develop a new strategy for special education in Lincolnshire. The Building Communities of Specialist Provision Strategy is the result of this work and we believe it will address many of the challenges pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families face when trying to access the right education, in the right place at the right time.
For parents and carers, we recognise some of the challenges you may have had to deal with:-
- Your nearest special school may not be able to meet your child's specific needs, so they have to travel long distances to get to a school that can meet their need.
- Your nearest special school may not have space to accept your child, so they have to travel long distances to get to a school that has a space.
- Your nearest special school may not have the resources to meet your child's needs, so they have to travel long distances to get to a school that can give the right support.
- Your child may have specific, complex needs and because the special schools in Lincolnshire cannot meet their needs, they are being educated out of county. This can mean long periods living away from home or long daily journeys.
- You may have wanted your child to remain in mainstream school but did not feel there was adequate support and training for staff to meet your child's needs.
- You may feel that your child needs an education which offers a combination of special school and mainstream school opportunities but cannot see how to get this.
- You may feel that your child misses out on many opportunities that their friends who attend mainstream school enjoy because all their school friends live too far away.
- Your child may feel isolated and would like to feel part of a community of people with similar experiences.
This strategy proposes to make significant changes to our existing special schools:-
- Creating a joined up system where pupils can attend their nearest school in the confidence their educational and health needs can be fully met.
- Where they have full access to a curriculum which is appropriate for their learning needs and are taught by teaching staff who are skilled in the learning profiles of all pupils with SEND.
- Where they can develop close friendship bonds with their classmates, which can extend beyond the school boundaries as they are educated in their local communities and where pupils feel they belong.
- Where mainstream schools and special schools share expertise and best practice to ensure pupils are educated in the right school for them and their families.
We really need your thoughts and comments on these exciting proposals so please take time to read the strategy information on www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/sendcommunities and provide us with your feedback via the survey link.