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Bristol Specialist Places Consultation

There’s not long left if you want to take part in a consultation which could see three new Send resource bases in Bristol schools.

Bristol City Council has proposed three new learning spaces for children with Special Educational Needs and Disability. The bases would mean children struggling to access specialist spaces in the city could soon see one in their local communities.

The location of the bases would be Broomhill Infant School, Broomhill Junior School and Sefton Park Infant and Junior School.

Broomhill Infant School, based on Fermaine Avenue, would have a 24-place resource base established. This would have places for autistic children and those with Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs (SEMH).

Next door Broomhill Junior School would establish a 16-place resource based for autistic children and those with SEMH needs.

Sefton Park Infant and Junior School on St. Bartholomews Rd, would have a 12-place resource base for autistic children and those with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN).

If agreed, all three would be registered with the Department for Education.

The funding for the places will come from the High Needs Block, with the spend agreed by Cabinet in September 2022. It will form part of the agreed £14.9m for the SEND Wave 2 works.

Children attending the provision will receive SEN place funding as well as top up funding, costed through their Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) provision.

The council says it will work with the schools to ensure the provisions will be ‘affordable’ and not impact other budgets.

The consultation is taking place as Bristol City Council looks to expand the number of school places for Send pupils. The local authority hit crisis point over the issue with transport costs spiraling as children are forced to travel miles out of county to access education.

Bristol City Council says: ‘The SEN designation of the provisions will be inclusive of children with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) and Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) Needs and Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) to support the needs of children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). The resource bases will receive children with SEN from the local area, not limited to the school’s mainstream catchment.’

The Broomhill Infant School and Sefton Park Infant and Junior School bases aim to be open by January 2024. The Broomhill Junior School Resource Base aims to open in September 2024.

The new resource bases should increase capacity by 52 places.

The council stresses that the number of places at all of the schools will remain the same and ‘not’ be ‘impacted’ by the proposals.

The consultation will run until 06 November 2023.

For more information, or to take part in the consultation:

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