Bristol City Council Reviews Send Provision in Bristol

Bristol Send Provision Survey:

Bristol City Council has launched a survey, asking Bristol families and carers with experience of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in the city to contribute their views to elements of its provision.

The council is aiming to look at ‘where improvements could be made’ in four key areas. These are Top Up funding, Access to Alternative Learning Provision (ALP) and Early Intervention Bases (EIBs), the Bristol Hospital Education Service (BHES) and other services offering wider support. The other services also under review includes the Sensory Support Service, Bristol Autism Team, Alternative Provision Team, HOPE Virtual School and Safeguarding in Education Team.

Making sure the Top Up process is ‘more transparent’ with money allocated ‘fairly’ across all the different education settings is one of the aims. This will be achieved by the council reviewing and revising guidance about what is expected under each level of need from early years to post 16 settings and special schools.

The Bristol Hospital Education Service (BHES) is another major area of provision which is being surveyed. The service provides education for children and teenagers between 4-16 years of age who are unable to attend school for medical reasons. The learning either takes place in the child’s home, hospital or at one of their bases.

The council want to look at whether attending BHES helps academic achievement and school attendance, how costs are shared between the council and NHS Services and whether ‘wider packages of support’ are being commissioned by schools before using the service, including individual mentoring and non-classroom based activity in school.

There are formal consultations planned for all areas up for review next year, with the parents and carers survey giving the council a ‘valuable insight into what the council should focus on.’

Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, Councillor Anna Keen said that the survey will ‘establish’ how things ‘may need to change’ for better experiences.

She said: “This survey is the first step in developing our new plan and we want to involve parents, carers and individuals with SEND in this process as much as possible. The views we receive now will help to shape more formal consultations starting early next year. We’ve been clear about the challenges in this area posed by the lack of proper funding from government and rising demand and we are committed to putting collaboration with families at the heart of how we move forward.

The survey is running until 06 January 2019, and available online:

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