Introduction

The special provision fund allocations announced on 4 March 2017 are to support local authorities (LAs) to make capital investments in provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.

Local authorities can invest in new places and improvements to facilities for pupils with Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans in mainstream and special schools, nurseries, colleges and other provision.

In May 2018 and December 2018 the DfE increased to total fund, increasing Somerset’s allocation from £1.716m to £2.913m.

Allocations for 2018-19 to 2020-21

The Department for Education is providing £365 million of special provision fund allocations for the financial years 2018-19 to 2020-21. Somerset’s allocation, as defined in January 2019, is outlined below:

2018/19                       £572,132

2019/20                       £1,170,873

2020/21                       £1,170,873

Total allocation         £2,913,878

These allocations are to support the Local Authority to create new places and improve facilities for pupils with more complex special educational needs (i.e. an EHC plan or a Statement of Special Educational Needs) in mainstream and/or special schools.

Consultation

Local Authorities were expected to make decisions in consultation with local stakeholders.

The options which were consulted on, were developed with stakeholders including special school head teachers.

As engagement with parents and young people is crucial, we worked in partnership with Somerset Parent Carer Forum to hold a series of consultation events in early 2019. Those were held at:

  • Minehead on 30th January 2019
  • Bridgwater on 5th February 2019
  • Frome on 8th February 2019
  • Compton Dundon on 11th February 2019
  • Wincanton on 15th February 2019
  • Yeovil on 25th March 2019

Investment

As a result of those consultation activities, Somerset County Council will be using its allocation to deliver a range of improvement projects aligning to:

  • Reasonable adjustments in mainstream schools across Somerset to meet the needs for pupils with physical impairments / disabilities or complex medical needs.
  • Reasonable adjustments in FE Colleges across Somerset to meet the needs for pupils with physical impairments / disabilities or complex medical needs.
  • Works which upgrade the facilities of maintained special schools across Somerset to enable them to meet the therapeutic and sensory needs of children with complex, physical, medical and sensory conditions.
  • Works which provide nurturing environments in maintained mainstream schools across Somerset to enable them to meet the needs of children with challenging behaviour.

The year one allocation will be used to deliver projects at two mainstream schools in Yeovil.

Further allocations for years two and three will be allocated when specific needs arise and this document and the image below, will be revised to reflect updated plans at regular intervals.

In addition to the DfE Special Provision Capital Fund allocation, Somerset County Council will also be investing a significant amount of its own capital funding in addition specialist places around the county.