Inclusion and Additional Support Needs in Falkirk: Proposals for 2018 onwards

Closes 10 Nov 2017

Opened 13 Sep 2017

Overview

In Falkirk there is a rise in the number of children with significant Additional Support Needs in education arising from:

  • Social and communication difficulties
  • Autism

Currently 15 primary schools have Enhanced Provision and 3 primary schools have ASN for complex needs. We have identified an increase in demand to support children and young people with social communication difficulties and Autism.

It is proposed to establish specialist classes in 3 primary schools and 2 secondary schools to provide high quality educational provision for children and young people who have social and communication difficulties and autism. We aim to provide specialist provisions closer to home wherever reasonable or possible.

The 3 primary schools that are being considered are:

  • Easter Carmuirs Primary School
  • Moray Primary School
  • Sacred Heart Primary School

The 2 secondary schools that are being considered are:

  • Bo'ness Academy
  • Larbert High School

The proposed change in the approach to inclusion and meeting Additional Support Needs is intended to:

  • ensure each additional specialist provision will be in a position to offer a positive educational experience to children with significant ASN
  • ensure children with significant ASN can have a suitable education and support within their local community
  • reduce the pressure and demand for intake to existing specialist schools and units
  • the specialist knowledge and skills of the staff in the specialist provisions will benefit the children and young people within the whole school

Pupils with significant ASN and their families will be affected as their education will be provided either in their local school or in one of the existing special schools. Staff, pupils and their families will benefit from the increased level of support with the school community.

It is proposed that this change will come into effect for August 2018 onwards.

The identified schools will need to have the capacity for 2 ASN classes per school with a maximum of 6 pupils in each. This will provide a total capacity of 60 places.

Pupils who are allocated a placement in the ASN classes in all 5 schools will join the school roll. ASN provision seeks wherever possible to enable pupils who require significant additional support to access the mainstream curriculum and environment. The provisions aims for children and young people to be included, engaged and involved as appropriate, in the wider life of the school.

All specialist provision within Falkirk is non-denominational. All ASN classes provide small group setting to provide:

  • access to mainstream learning experiences and environment as appropriate and possible
  • integrated support from the Speech and Language Therapy Service
  • significant differentiation of the curriculum using social, communication and autism friendly strategies
  • a visual approach to learning and communicationn
  • a high ratio of teaching and support staff who are skilled in supporting ASN
  • associated with social communication difficulties

All access to the council’s specialist provision, whether by way of placing request or referral, is considered and determined by the council’s Pupil Support Referral Group (PSRG). The referral to the PSRG can be made by; the child or the young person’s mainstream school or parent/carer placing request.

Pupils may be allocated a place within the provision, subject to the council’s placing arrangements. The PSRG assesses the referrals made and considers the information which will include;

  • the specific needs of the pupils
  • the support strategies required in the learning environment
  • the existing or requirement of other agencies
  • existing levels of support with current school
  • recommendations from other agencies
  • team around the child meetings and the child’s plan

Why We Are Consulting

Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010

A formal consultation is required for any proposal to change our policy with respect to the constitution of a special class, not in a special school, and for the establishment of a new special school. This consultation fully accords with the requirements of this legislation.

Five public meetings will be held on the following dates:

  • Easter Carmuirs Primary School on Thursday 21 September 2017 at 6pm
  • Bo’ness Academy on Tuesday 26 September 2017 at 6pm
  • Moray Primary School on Wednesday 27 September 2017 at 6pm
  • Sacred Heart Primary School on Tuesday 3 October 2017 at 6pm
  • Larbert High School on Thursday 5 October 2017 at 6pm

School staff, parents and carers of these schools will be informed of the venues date and time of the public consultation meetings. 

Officers of the Council will be present to discuss these proposals and there will be an opportunity for attendees to ask questions at the meeting.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Community councils
  • Education institutions
  • Local Government
  • Carers
  • Children and Young People
  • Parents/carers
  • Teaching/Educational staff
  • Young people

Interests

  • Parental engagement
  • Schools
  • Children and families
  • Health and wellbeing