Lincolnshire County Council is hosting three public meetings in the county in the next few weeks on proposals to develop a new model for educating children with special needs.
The proposed strategy and model will be outlined by representatives from the county council and local special school teachers at an event on Tuesday (February 27) at the New Life Conference Centre, Mareham Lane, Sleaford NG34 7JP, from 6pm-7.30pm.
Local residents will have the opportunity to ask questions and comment on the proposals at this event and others at: Boston – Monday, 26 February – The Supreme Inn, Bicker Bar, Bicker, near Boston PE20 3AN, on Monday January 26 6pm-7.30pm; and at The Myle Cross Centre, Macauley Drive, Lincoln LN2 4EL, from 5.30pm-7pm on Monday March 5.
Coun Patricia Bradwell, Executive Councillor for Children’s Services said: “It’s vital that we hear your views about our proposals as many of you will be at the heart of SEND provision. Don’t forget to have your say by completing the online survey and go along to one of the consultation events in the county.
“This review is about bringing accessible inclusive education in all communities, minimal travel, enhanced provision and increased number of school places. We want all children to be able to access high quality education and achieve their potential, as near to their family and local community as possible.”
Consultations have also been taking place with individual schools and through the Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum. In addition, parents, carers, children and young people and other interested residents are being encouraged to complete the online survey on proposals to develop a new model for special education at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/SENDcommunities
Alternatively, people can make their comments and enquiries by emailing SENDCommunities@lincolnshire.gov.uk
The council says new proposals will address many of the challenges pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families face when trying to access the right education, in the right place at the right time.
The council states no child will be forced to change school if parents don’t want them to. However, with only 30 per cent of pupils with SEND currently attending their nearest school, under the new proposals children will have the chance to attend a school in their local community if that is possible.
Some Sleaford area parents who send their children to Gosberton House School, near Spalding, which has specialised care for children on the autistic spectrum, have expressed concern that this specialist expertise may be diluted or lost if the schools are redesigned to serve all special needs.
The consultation runs until March 14.