Consultation on Changes to Hetton Lyons Primary School

Please read the information below and then complete this form to provide a response: Consultation on Changes to Hetton Lyons Primary School

1.0      Background

1.1      Hetton Lyons Primary School is a primary school based in the Hetton Ward. The school currently offers primary school provision for children from 5 to 11.   

2.0      Why are we proposing to make changes at Hetton Lyons Primary School?

2.1      The number of children who require additional support due to a special educational need has increased in Sunderland and nationally. More children now attend mainstream schools who require significant additional interventions to support them in their school place. This at times can exceed what a mainstream school has the resources to offer.

2.2      There is an identified need to increase the range and quantity of high-quality SEN provisions in local areas. This ensures children whom, with additional support, would find a mainstream school place is appropriate, can continue to access that within their own locality while also ensuring schools have the correct resources to meet increasing demand from pupils with additional SEN needs.

2.3       Hetton Lyons Primary School has a developing expertise in providing an appropriate curriculum for children with SEND. The school currently provides for a number of children with an EHCP awaiting a specialist provision. These children access elements of a highly differentiated curriculum and mainstream provision. The school has funding to develop a new area that will support children who have an EHCP on the autistic spectrum. This will be staffed through the appointment of additional staff and not from the existing staff compliment. Currently the children in the Hetton and Coalfields areas need to travel to Washington or Sunderland to access suitable provision.

3.0      What are we proposing to do?

3.1      It is proposed that, in order to make provision more accessible for a wider range of families in the Coalfields, we will create a SEN provision at Hetton Lyons Primary School for pupils with an Education Health and Care Plan that identifies Autism as a primary need. This will allow children who require a greater level of support from within the locality to access an appropriate school place with bespoke support.

3.2      The unit will complement the mainstream offer at the school with children on roll accessing both elements of the school’s mainstream resource and educational offer, and also accessing a SEN provision as required.

3.3      The proposal will ensure additional facilities are available to meet educational, sensory and nurture needs, provide access to specialist equipment (where required) and, by creating a local SEN offer, will reduce the time children are required to travel to access a special school place.

3.4     This proposal is part of a larger, citywide programme that is aimed to ensure children with SEN can access appropriate provision near their homes that meets their levels of need. It complements the existing local SEN units already operating across the city.

4.0       Outcomes

The proposal would secure the following outcomes:

4.1       Increased capacity within the local SEN Sector

The proposal will add an additional 16 primary school places to Sunderland's current SEN offer. The proposal aims to ensure SEN places area available in localities so children accessing provision would be from the Coalfields.

4.2       Increase Appropriateness of SEN Placements

The ongoing diversification of the range of SEN provision in Sunderland will ensure that there are multiple levels of placements for local children. The creation of an additional resourced unit will provide greater opportunity for those children who can thrive in a mainstream environment but who need additional support can do so, while those who require a special school place are more likely to be accommodated more expediently due to the increased local capacity across the wider SEN sector.

4.3       Increased Efficiencies in Commissioning

A benefit of increasing local access to SEN provision is that pupils do not have to travel as far to access central citywide or out of area provisions. Being able to provide local facilities therefore reduces commissioning costs such as home to school transport costs and the costs associated with out of area placements.

5.0       Statutory Requirements

To facilitate the above proposals it is required to make to following changes to the current Hetton Lyons Primary School:

Develop a 16 place SEN Unit for primary aged pupils with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with effect from 1st September 2025

6.0      Next Steps

6.1      Balmoral Learning Trust would like to know what you think about the proposals. This initial consultation will open on Monday 8th July 2024 and will close on Friday 26th July 2024.

To provide a response, please complete this form: Consultation on Changes to Hetton Lyons Primary School