Amethyst Academies Trust – Specialist Resource Base Consultation
I am writing to inform you of Amethyst Academies Trust’s proposal to make changes to Aldersley High School’s resource base provision. Aldersley High School’s existing resource base caters for up to 8 students with Speech, Language and Communication Needs. It is proposed that, with effect from 1 September 2020, the designation and capacity of the resource base is extended to enable up to 20 students with Speech, Language and Communication Needs and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorder to be supported.
This consultation will be open for your comments until 1st May 2020.
Why do we need to make changes to existing resource base provision at Aldersley High School?
A Specialist Resource Base (SRB) provides places for children with special educational needs and disabilities within a mainstream school. Children are taught in smaller groups with additional staff within the SRB, but also have access to mainstream classes and wider school life as their individual needs allow. The SRB, which would be based at Aldersley High School would be for children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and would offer up to 20 places for students aged 11 to 16.
The City of Wolverhampton Council have advised that there is currently a gap in specialist ASD provision within the local area. We agree that it is right that children with special educational needs and disabilities be educated in their local school and community. We believe that as a calm, orderly and inclusive school we are ideally placed to provide this Specialist Resource Base and that the provision will enhance our wider school community and the life chances of children with special needs in the Wolverhampton area.
Implementing the proposed changes would allow progression for pupils and continuity of support to aid the transition of pupils for whom a secondary facility is the most appropriate next stage. This would assist in reducing the trend of transition from mainstream primary schools to special secondary schools. Providing early intervention at the start of the secondary phase through the resource base would support pupils’ needs and enable effective integration into the mainstream school.
What are specialist facilities?
Specialist facilities are located within the mainstream school and provide specific support to a limited number of pupils with an education and health care plan (EHCP). Pupils within the facility are on roll of the mainstream school and are in addition to the published admission number. The school receives additional funding to support pupils’ needs. Placements are determined by the City of Wolverhampton Council according to clear criteria.
The aspiration in Wolverhampton is that specialist facilities promote an ethos of inclusion and help integrate their pupils into the mainstream school for as much of their learning time as their needs allow. The facility should also provide access to a base within the school for more intensive support when required. The Wolverhampton model increasingly expects that the expertise of staff within the facility provide significant benefits to the rest of the school and other schools in the local area to support all pupils with SEND and create a fully inclusive learning environment.
Pupils in the resource base will have their special educational needs reviewed regularly in discussion with parents/carers and professionals to ensure that the facility remains the most appropriate placement to meet these needs.
What will be the impact of the changes to the resource base on other pupils in the school?
We expect the changes would have a positive impact on provision at the school. Specialist staff would work with pupils in the resource base and also work with teaching staff across the school to develop skills and expertise in responding to SEND needs and creating an inclusive environment.
Will building work be required to establish the new facility and, if so, how will this be funded?
No, Aldersley High School has identified an area within the existing site in which the resource base will be established. No capital funding will be required in order for the base to become operational.
Why we are consulting on the above proposal?
We have a responsibility to consult with the wider community on any significant change to the organisation and structure of the school.
How can you have your say?
You can have your say by;
- Completing the attached form and handing it to your school office
- Alternatively you could email the attached document and sent back to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How long is the consultation period?
The consultation period will begin on the 18th March 2020 and close on the 1st May 2020.
If you have any further questions regarding the process or proposal, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Mrs N Davis