County Hall gates

Cabinet to consider latest proposals aimed at improving SEND provision in Lancashire

Further action is expected to be taken by councillors next week to improve provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in Lancashire.

On Thursday 19 January, Lancashire County Council's cabinet will be asked to approve a series of recommendations as part of a wider ongoing strategy to boost provision across the county.

Councillors will be asked to consider the results of the informal consultation to expand and increase the number of school places at Kingsbury Primary School, a co-educational special school in Skelmersdale. The proposal is to expand the school by creating 30 additional places through the addition of modular buildings on the school site, increasing the number of places to 120.

In addition, cabinet will be asked to approve the initiation of feasibility studies and the informal consultation process to establish Special Educational Needs (SEN) units at various mainstream schools across the county. These are: Thornton Primary School, Calder Vale St John C of E Primary School, Park Primary School and Mount Carmel Roman Catholic High School.

Cabinet will also be asked to approve the establishment of a co-educational primary free school for children with social emotional and mental health difficulties in the former Firbank Children's Centre, which is on the same site as Castle View Primary School in Lancaster. An informal consultation was undertaken late last year, with most responses supportive of the proposals.

County Councillor Jayne Rear, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for education and skills, said: "These latest proposals build on ongoing efforts to ensure that every child in Lancashire gets the support they need to enable them to reach their potential.

"Where possible, children should be educated within their local community in mainstream settings, which is why we are looking to establish SEN units at several mainstream schools.

"We also recognise that specialist provision is lacking in some parts of the county and that is why we are taking steps to create a free special school in the North of the county."