Teacher pointing at board in a primary school class. cropped

Further action taken to improve SEND provision in Lancashire

Further action to create more SEND provision in Lancashire to meet the growing demand has been taken by Lancashire County Council's cabinet this week.

On Thursday, 11 April, cabinet signed off on a series of recommendations relating to numerous projects across the county that aim to improve support to children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEN).

This includes approving the budget spend for alterations/adaptations in SEN units attached to Fleetwood Chaucer Primary School and Morecambe Bay Primary School, as well as signing off the additional funds to create more places at The Loyne Specialist School, Lancaster and Mayfield Specialist School, Chorley.

Cabinet signed off on the increased spend required to create up to 50 additional places at West Lancashire Community High School, as part of phase 2 of the works being undertaken.

Phase 3 of the expansion of Thornton Cleveleys Red Marsh School and its satellite provision, The Willows, was also given the green light.

Paul Turner, Director of Education, Culture and Skills at Lancashire County Council, said:

"The county council and partners across education, health and care have a legal duty to work together to plan for and meet the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities, in line with the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice 2014.

"The actions taken by cabinet this week will help us to meet the increasing demand for special school provision and is part of ongoing work to improve provision across Lancashire."

In a separate item, cabinet gave the final approval on plans to close Pinfold Primary School in Ormskirk, reopening it as SEND satellite provision for Kingsbury Primary School, an Outstanding maintained special school for pupils with generic learning difficulties.

Pinfold Primary School's Governing body took the difficult decision to close the school in September 2023, as it is no longer financially viable as a mainstream school. As of January 2024, Pinfold Primary School had less than five pupils on roll.

A four-week consultation on the proposals began on 15th January. The local authority then provided full feedback and reassurance in response to all concerns raised during consultation process.

Following this, a four-week representation period starting on 19th February. No consultation responses were received during this period.

Paul Turner said:

"Closing a school is never a decision that is taken likely but in this instance the school's governing body had no other viable options available to them.

"By repurposing the building as a SEND satellite site, we can ensure the existing facilities are put to good use and support more children who need this kind of specialist provision."