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Projected service use

Background papers: children :: Special educational needs and disabilities [Update in progress] :: Projected service use

A consultant was commissioned in 2011 to undertake a special educational needs assessment looking at baseline pupil numbers and initiating a basis upon which to build a robust forecasting system to enable future planning of required provision. This has been further developed in 2013 to take account of increased local SEN capacity and updated demographic information.
One factor that needed to be accounted for as a separate (unpredictable) factor was the anticipated impact of an emerging pattern of inward migration to Medway of children requiring specialist SEND provision. This resulted in 60[1] unexpected additional children moving into Medway in 2011 with statements requiring specialist provision. These children had moved into Medway from other parts of the UK, with a large proportion moving in from other parts of the south of England. This high level of pupils moving into Medway requiring specialist placement was maintained in 2012, with 53 requiring specialist placement moving in between January and December 2012 Between January and May 2013, 27 additional children requiring specialist provision moved to Medway. We are aware from phone calls from parents, ahead of their move date, that this number is likely to increase during July and August.

This has implications for SEN planning as current predictions were based on an assumption that the 2011 increase was unlikely to be maintained but that we should plan for at least one third of the increase being maintained over the next five years. Current evidence indicates that we should plan for at least two thirds of the increase being maintained over that period.. If the short-term increase seen in 2011 and 2012 were to continue at the same rate over the next five years, then this would result in an additional 300 pupils with statements requiring specialist provision, over and above the 59 projected through normal population growth. The increase experienced since January 2011 is unprecedented and may not be sustained at this level in the future. However, we must seek to plan for a proportion of inward migration as part of our planning for special educational needs and it is recommended that we should plan for at least two thirds of this increase being sustained over the next five years.

If no further provision is developed, this could result in 258 additional children being placed in independent out of area provision taking the total number of children to 561 over the next five years (303 existing plus 258 future need projected).

The final factor incorporated into the projections are the number of children the authority aims to a) return to local placements or b) specialist needs currently provided out of area that in future we aim to place locally. Realistically, it is unlikely to be possible, and/or cost effective to create sufficient provision to meet the needs of all children with statements requiring specialist provision in Medway Schools. This is because there will be some pupils, who will have particularly specialist needs, which a particular provider is well placed to meet, where the costs of creating Medway based provision, for a small number of pupils, would not be justified. Our assessment of live cases indicates that it is more realistic to plan to provide additional capacity for half of the type of needs currently educated in independent or out of area provision in the medium term accounting for 151 places.

The forecast increase is shown in the table below by main disability need type based on the forecast increase of 59 pupils plus 33% of the current unpredictable inward migration which represents 99 pupils, plus 50% of the places currently provided in independent and out of area provision which represents 151 pupils. This would require the creation of 309 additional local places overall.

  2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 Forecast population increase 33% of unpredictable inward migration 50% places currently provided out of area/independently Total planned increase
VI 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
SPLD 1 1 1 0 0 3 13 14 30
SLD 3 4 3 2 1 13 10 10 33
SLCN 1 1 1 0 0 3 10 11 24
PMLD 1 1 1 1 0 4 0 1 5
PD 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 11
MLD 3 4 3 1 0 11 20 14 45
HI 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 14
BESD 3 3 3 2 1 12 33 29 74
ASD 3 4 3 2 1 13 10 50 73
Total 15 18 15 8 3 59 99 151 309
Table 1: SEN need forecasts. More recent calculations reflecting the actual level of continued inward migration suggests that 66% of the 2010-11 inward migration figures should be used to more accurately predict future need for specialist provision. Therefore this would double the figures in this column and lead to a need for an additional 100 places in specialist provision over the next 5 years.[1]

Since this forecast there has been the development of additional provision, with more planned. It is likely that this will start to address some of the additional needs set out above::
• the creation of an ASD unit at Bradfields School in September 2012 created provision for up to 40 additional pupils with severe and complex ASD need across all key stages.

• Each of the three new build Academies will include accommodation for secondary pupils with special educational needs, which will provide an additional 40 places in total. This consists of new provision for 20 pupils with a main need type of ASD or MLD at Strood Academy, which is due to open in September 2014 and for 20 pupils with a main need type of ASD or MLD at the Bishop of Rochester Academy, which will be completed in September 2013. The provision at Brompton Academy will be for the same number of pupils currently provided for, where the need type has since 2011 been re-balanced to take account of the changing profile of need in Medway. It now includes provision for vulnerable children as well as those with SPLD, and SLCN.

• The expansion of specialist provision at Twydall Primary School in September 2012, provides additional capacity for up to 12 children with hearing impairments, in addition to the school's existing provision for children with physical difficulties.

This additional capacity (shown below), will therefore provide for up to 98 additional pupils overall leaving 211 places to plan for in this strategic planning phase. The impact of these additional places on the projected forecast need and the profile of these pupils are shown in the table below. This projected forecast will be kept under review based on actual and emerging need trends.

In addition to the development of new places support services need to develop to match the new demands placed on the service. Also, those young people who are already in situ need to be identified and any new services created through the reoranisation of services must be advertised to them.

  Projected forecast of additional need Provision already planned Remaining forecast of additional need
SPLD 30 - 30
SLD 33 - 33
SLCN 24 - 24
PMLD 5 - 5
PD 11 - 11
MLD 45 35 10
HI 14 12 2
BESD 74 - 74
ASD 73 51 22
Total 309 98 211
Table 2: Forecast of additional special educational needs[1]

There is currently school based nursery provision for children with SEND in Medway at Abbey Court Special School, Twydall Primary and All Faiths Primary. In addition, the health service special needs nursery has provision for disabled children with medical needs and provide assessment for a wide spectrum of needs.

There is currently a gap in additional provision for children with other needs, most commonly ASD, who are typically educated in private nursery provision. This means that there are some children for whom a placement at the Marlborough Centre is likely, who cannot be placed in the most appropriate early years provision. The Marlborough Centre is based a Hoo St Werburgh Primary School and has 61 places for young people with ASD. The centre itself has been identified in the SEN strategic plan for development on integrated foundation stage provision.

This also restricts the opportunities to assess the needs of some children until they start at specialist provision in Reception (year R). Also, as significant progress can be often be made for all children including those with SEND, if early years provision is good, there may be some pupils, who with the right support form a specialist provision, could be placed in a mainstream provision from year R.

  Number of new statements issued
2010/11 188.0
2009/10 201.0
2008/09 225.0
2007/08 223.0
2006/07 194.0
5 year average 206.2
Table 3: Number of statements of SEN issued per year academic years 2006 to 2010.[2]

Table 3 shows that there was a peak in 2008–09 of the number of statements issued by Medway SEN team. This figure reduced to 201 in 09–10 and 188 in 2010–11 with a 5–year average of 206.2.


[1]   Cocentra. Special Education Needs - Masterplan and Trend Analysis (Revision C) 2012; Cocentra.
[2]   Impulse. School Database 2012;