Agenda Item No. 8
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (LIFELONG LEARNING): 17 JULY 2014
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 16 JUNE 2014
C2345 SCHOOL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS (SEN) FUNDING FOR MAINSTREAM SCHOOLS (CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) –
Members were informed of recent changes to the way in which funding to support pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) was allocated to schools.
Funding to support pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) in primary schools was previously held centrally within the Directorate of Learning and Skills, amounting to approximately £700, 000 (known locally as the Learning Support Assistant SEN Budget). The allocation to schools to support individual pupils was made via a SEN Panel to which schools made evidentially based representations for additional resource and support for individual pupils. The SEN Panel was advised by the Lead Officer for Inclusion, supported by Headteachers and admin staff.
Following extensive consultation with schools, the centrally held budget previously used for funding individual pupil support in primary schools was delegated to primary schools from 1st April 2014. Schools had become the direct employers of the Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) working with their pupils.
The previous SEN Panel had been replaced by the Additional Needs Fund (ANF) Panel which was responsible for considering applications made by schools and determining appropriate levels of support. The Panel was organised by Headteachers, supported by the Principal Educational Psychologist and had responsibility for managing the ANF Budget and supported decision making. The terms of reference for the ANF panel was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.
The role of the panel was to discuss and moderate potential submissions for ANF. The panel would therefore need to consider whether a particular case warranted additional resources and that all criteria had been met. As there was clear SEN Guidance Criteria to inform this decision making, the process should be an objective one.
The first ANF Panel took place on 1 May 2014. The functioning of the ANF Panel would be closely monitored throughout the first year according to the Monitoring, Evaluation and Review (MER) process that was attached at Appendix 2 to the report.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the arrangements made to delegate responsibility for and funding to support pupils with special educational needs to the schools they attend be noted.
(2) T H A T the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) be invited to consider a monitoring, evaluation and review up-date in one year's time.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To make Members aware of recent changes.
(2) To enable Members to scrutinise arrangements to support our SEN pupils in primary schools.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 16 JUNE 2014