Consultation on Kingston's SEND Transformation Plan: 2019/20 to 2021/22 (Closed)
The Council is facing huge financial pressures, and in these times it's more important than ever that your voices are heard. We would be grateful for your help in shaping the future of SEND services in Kingston.
We are asking you for your views on a number of specific proposals contained within the plan, the full version of which can be found here:
Kingston upon Thames SEND Transformation Plan - 2019/20 to 2021/22
Giving your view
You can complete an online survey using the link below.
You can download an easy read version of the survey here (opens a PDF)
If you would like a paper copy of the online survey, copies translated into different languages, or would like some help completing it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This consultation will close at midnight on 20 January 2019.
We will also be holding some drop-in events for parents and carers to speak to representatives of the Council and Achieving for Children.
- 10 Jan (7.30pm to 9pm) at the Richard Mayo Centre, Kingston United Reformed Church, Eden Street, Kingston, KT1 1HZ
- 17 Jan (10.30am - 12 noon) at the King Charles Centre, Hollyfield Road, Surbiton, KT5 9AL
- 18 Jan (2pm -3.30 pm) at the King Charles Centre, Hollyfield Road, Surbiton, KT5 9AL
Download Consultation Flyer (opens a pdf)
Frequently asked questions - Kingston’s SEND Transformation Plan: 2019/20 to 2021/22
What is SEND?
SEND stands for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
Why is Kingston Council consulting on SEND funding?
Like many local authorities across the country, Kingston Council is facing unprecedented financial challenges as a result of sustained reductions to our budgets, the increasing and more complex needs of some of our most vulnerable residents, and growing expectations of the essential services we provide. We are not alone in this situation; it is felt right across the public sector by colleagues in schools, health services, policing and the voluntary sector. The financial challenge is particularly acute in the services we provide for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) both in our general resources and in the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) provided by the government. This year, we expect to overspend our grant allocation by more than £2 million, taking into account a £3m advance from the Department for Education. This will bring our cumulative deficit in this area to £13 million, and we know that it is likely that the need for these services will continue to grow as it has done over the last four years.
It is more important than ever that our community voices are heard. We would be grateful for your help in shaping the future of SEND services in Kingston.
What are the proposals?
We are asking you for your views on a number of specific proposals contained within the plan, the full version of which can be found at the top of this page.
How many children and young people with SEND are in Kingston?
There are 3,577 children and young people with SEND aged 0 to 25 in Kingston upon Thames; 1,130 of these children and young people (32%) have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) to describe and put in place the educational provision and support that they need.
What is an EHCP?
EHCP is an Education Health and Care Plan as defined in section 37 (2) of the Children and Families Act 2014.
An EHC plan is a legal document that describes a child or young person's special educational, health and social care needs. It explains the extra help that will be given to meet those needs and how that help will support the child or young person to achieve what they want to in their life.
What is the increase of EHCPs since last year?
The total number of EHCPs increased by 8.8% in 2017/18 compared to the previous year. This has been the trend in every year since 2014/15. Although this is below the national average increase of 11.3%, it nevertheless places significant financial pressure on the Council and health providers.
How is SEND funding managed?
Funding to support children and young people with SEND, from their early years to age 25, comes from the high needs block of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG). The DSG is provided by the government to every upper-tier local authority to fund local early years provision, maintained schools and free schools, as well as educational provision and support for children and young people with SEND.
Local distribution of DSG funding is managed by the Schools Forum which includes representatives from schools within the borough.
How much does Kingston receive from Government?
The total DSG for Kingston in 2018/19 is £135 million of which £22 million is allocated for high needs provision.
How is the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) calculated?
The level of DSG for each upper-tier local authority is calculated using a national funding formula based on the total size of the child population, the level of deprivation and educational attainment scores
The formula is not adjusted to reflect the prevalence of SEND within the local authority area.
What are the main presenting needs in Kingston?
The main presenting needs in local EHCPs are: autistic spectrum conditions (35%), speech, language and communication needs (21%); and social, emotional and mental health needs (14%). The highest proportion of EHCPs and SEND support is for children and young people aged 11 to 15 (39%) and in particular males aged 12 to 14.
Why does Kingston not have sufficient funds for SEND budgets?
The Government decides how much funding is available to councils and schools to spend on the education of children with special educational needs. Currently, the funding allocated by Government to Kingston for high needs education services is insufficient to meet increasing demand for services. This increased demand is due to a rise in the number of children with additional needs as well as increased statutory requirements that have resulted from the Children and Families Act 2014.
How much is the overspend in Kingston?
The DSG for Kingston is expected to overspend by £2.2 million by the end of 2018/19. This takes into account an advance payment of £3 million by the Department for Education and £1.4 million transferred from general school funding into the high needs block. It is forecast that the cumulative DSG overspend will reach £13 million by the end of 2018/19, as a result of expenditure on high needs provision exceeding the grant allocation in every year since 2014/15. By 2022, it is estimated that the cumulative deficit will reach £46m unless action is taken to reduce spending, or the government increases the available funding.
Is Kingston the only Local Authority that has this issue?
This is not just an issue in Kingston; it is a national issue. A recent survey by London Councils found that local authorities in London are collectively predicted to overspend on their high needs provision by £94 million in 2018/19 - equivalent to a 13.6% funding gap.
How will the Transformation Plan make a difference?
Our plan offers no quick fixes and recognises that transforming the system will take time to deliver, and a commitment from all stakeholders to finding the best solutions, based on our shared principles to: develop resilience in families and communities; promote inclusion; expand local education, health and care provision; and encourage independence. This will be a challenging programme of reform which will take us three years to deliver, but our focus in the first four months will be on:
- achieving strong partnership commitment to delivering the transformation plan
- investing in early intervention and inclusion programmes within mainstream schools
- implementing a robust annual review programme for education, health and care plans
- reducing the total cost of independent and non-maintained school placements
How will you be making your decisions?
Your views from the consultation will be fed into Kingston Council’s budget setting process. Decisions on the budget for education services will be made at Full Council on the 26 February 2019, but will also be discussed at the meetings below. These are council meetings to which the public are invited: details can be found on the council website.
- 33% the largest proportion of children and young people with EHCPs are educated in mainstream nurseries and schools
- 9% are in specialist resource provisions within mainstream schools
- 25% are in maintained or academy special schools
- 14% are in post-16 education provision in colleges or vocational schemes, such as traineeships and apprenticeships
- 13% (remaining) of children and young people are educated in independent and non-maintained special schools. This is higher than the outer London average of 6.5% and the national average of 4.9%. Notably, this 13% of independent school placements accounts for 20% of spend from the high needs block.