A new SEND Annual Report for North Lincolnshire has highlighted the innovative ways North Lincolnshire Council and partner agencies have supported children and young people with SEND to achieve and do well throughout 2020 – even with the additional challenges the Covid-19 pandemic has brought.
The report highlights many areas where children and young people, aged between 0 and 25 with SEND in North Lincolnshire have achieved excellent successes – including across education, health and care and in relation to preparation for adult life.
Responding flexibly to the challenges posed by the past 18 months the council and partner agencies, including all education settings, have continued to develop new ways to support children and young people with SEND.
Developments include a successful bid to the Department for Education (DfE) for a new £10m 60-place SEND Free School for young people over the age of 16 who have profound and multiple learning disabilities, speech, language and communication needs and autism spectrum or neurodiversity needs.
Building work on this new school is due to start in October 2021 with an opening date scheduled for September 2022. This new provision will enhance access to skills and employment for this particular group of young people with more complex needs – supporting preparation for adulthood. Wellspring Academy Trust have been chosen by the DfE to run the new school.
Cllr Rob Waltham, leader, North Lincolnshire Council, said:
“Over the past year we have redoubled our efforts to ensure all children and young people in North Lincolnshire get the best opportunities to develop and achieve.
“The Government continues to support our ambitious plans on this key priority area and they have funded the construction of the new Wellspring Academy – which will have a huge impact. The school will greatly benefit those with complex needs, boosting access to skills and employment as they move into adulthood.”
As well as the new post-16 SEND school other facilities in North Lincolnshire continue to be developed. Funding has been allocated to develop inclusive nurturing provisions at Coritani Academy (primary age), Frederick Gough School and Winterton Community Academy – supporting children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs.
As the pandemic impacted local people, North Lincolnshire Council and partner agency staff continued to work tirelessly to ensure that children and young people received the support they needed.
New communication and contact methods have been adopted – with helpful information and resources produced, including transition plans for those returning to school or college, moving educational placement or Key Stage.
Alongside this, a new online digital Education, Health and Care Plan Hub has been launched making it even easier for children, young people and their families to access advice and enabling them to work together with professionals and education settings on Education, Health and Care Planning.
Cllr Julie Reed, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said:
“Reading this report, I am proud of the way the council and partner agencies have stepped up to the challenges of the pandemic, responding flexibly and creatively to introduce new ways of supporting children and young people with SEND.
“Having two children with special educational needs myself, I appreciate the importance of having the right provision available locally. With the opening of Wellspring Academy, investment into existing facilities, and the production of a wealth of useful resources, young people can continue to live and acquire skills for work in their home communities, close to supportive family and friends.”
The SEND Annual Report also highlights the range of priorities for further development in the next 12 months.
To access information, advice and support – visit the North Lincolnshire SEND Local Offer website.