Extra school places for autistic children and young people

Extra school places for autistic children and young people

PaCC has been working closely with the Assistant Director for Health, SEN and Disability at the local authority, in the development of approximately 100 new school places for autistic children and young people. PaCC, alongside mASCot and other partners, has highlighted for many years the lack of appropriate school provision for many of these young people in Brighton & Hove, so it is very good news for families that there is going to be an increase in specialist placements. PaCC has been working closely with the local authority on all of the proposed additional provisions, and we arranged two consultation events for parent and carers around the Hill Park expansion.

Three different models of school places are being developed: satellite provision, resource provision and a third site for Hill Park special school hub (HP3). Each of these will cater for different profiles of children and young people:

  • Satellite provision children will be on the roll of a special school. Classes will be on a mainstream school site, although managed entirely by the special school.
  • It is intended that the children in the resource provision will be on the roll at a mainstream school (either primary and secondary), whilst accessing additional support within the resource provision – in a similar way to the current Swan Centre and Cullum Centre.
  • HP3 young people will be on the roll of a special school. There will be an additional special school site for secondary age children in Hollingdean, at the former Cedar Centre.

Before the local authority can confirm where the satellite and resource base provisions will be located and when referrals for admissions can occur, there will need to be a process whereby schools express an interest to either host a satellite or take on the responsibility for the running of the resource base: “We are intending for this process to start in the Autumn Term and we can confirm that representatives from PaCC will be involved in this process.”

The council has allocated funds for the development of all three types of provision, which will start to be rolled out in September 2023.

PaCC is supportive of the proposals and are pleased there has been a good level of co-production. However, we are very aware that there are also other profiles of need where there is a lack of provision in the city which we continue to work with the local authority on developing. This includes children and young people with social emotional and mental health difficulties, and we know this will be the next phase of work from the local authority. We consider there are also real gaps in provision post-16 and within early years. PaCC will continue to push for appropriate provision across all types of special educational need in Brighton & Hove.

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