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Successful bid for new Special School

The Department for Education (DfE) has been running a local authority special free school bid process. Barnsley Council and Sheffield City Council submitted a joint bid, which has been successful.
The new school will offer 200 places for children and young people across Barnsley and Sheffield with complex autism and communication needs. A place won't be reliant on having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis. Strong evidence of complex communication and interaction need through the EHC process, and being on the pathway for diagnosis, will be sufficient.
Places will also be provided for children who display traits of, or have a diagnosis of, pathological demand avoidance.
Opening dates for the school are dependent on construction timeframes and are not yet confirmed. The current working assumption is September 2026 or 2027
Apply to run the special school
BMBC, together with the DfE are inviting proposals from prospective sponsors to run the new special school.
You can find more details on the BMBC website or download the information for applicants document

Joint statement from Contact and Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

We’re committed to making sure that people have safe spaces where everyone can contribute to discussions about Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) support in Barnsley.

Unfortunately we’ve both received a number of complaints from SEND parent carers, parent groups and organisations. Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, the situation has continued to escalate and we have a duty of care to take action in a situation where people report feeling unsafe.

We’ve come to the difficult decision that, for the time being, Barnsley Council will not be signing a Memorandum of Understanding with any local group applying for the Department for Education (DfE) parent carer participation grant. Contact will also not be issuing a grant to any local group wanting to be the DfE-funded Forum in Barnsley until there is a positive environment with procedures in place so concerns can be addressed in an open, and transparent manner.

We want to continue to build on the progress that has already been made in the co-production of SEND services. During the period where there is no DfE-funded forum, Barnsley Council will continue to collaborate with parent carers, groups and organisations to make sure that their voices are informing local decision-making. Contact and the DfE will continue to support this process.

SENDIASS Review Executive Summary

We shared with you recently some of the key headlines of the SENDIASS review via social media. 

The council’s children’s commissioning team has now published the executive summary, where you can read more about the methods, findings, and recommendations of the review.

Take a look here 

Update on the Ofsted & CQC September 2021

Joint local area SEND inspection in Barnsley

Barnsley’s local area SEND inspection took place from the 20 to 24 September 2021. The inspection was led by one of Her Majesty's Inspectors from Ofsted, with a team including an Ofsted inspector and a children's services inspector from the CQC. During the week the inspection team spoke with children, young people parents and carers, partners and stakeholders including managers and leaders from the Barnsley’s education, health and social care services.

The purpose was to review how well Barnsley meets its responsibilities for children and young people (aged 0-25) who have SEND, focusing on three areas:

  1. How well we identify the needs of children and young people.
  2. How well we assess and meet needs of children and young people.
  3. How successful we are at getting the best outcomes for children and young people with SEND.
We are pleased that the Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission inspectors highlighted many strengths following our inspection, including the progress that we’ve made over the last two years. Despite this, and other highlights, the inspection also picked up on two areas which were of significant concern, comprising:

  1. The engagement of, and communication with, parents and carers. Local statutory partners need to ensure that the lived experience of families is influencing their strategic plans for services and provision.
  2. Improving the identification of, and provision for, children and young people with SEND but without an education, health and care plan (EHCP).

With our partners and stakeholders, we collaborated to coproduce a written statement of action (WSoA), outlining what we will do to improve in these two areas. We are pleased to announce that Ofsted have now approved our WSoA, which also forms part of our wider SEND Improvement Programme which we are committed to so that we can build on our strengths and the progress that we’ve already made, to transform and improve SEND services in the borough.

We would like to express our thanks to the many people who have been involved in this work so far. We will keep you posted with updates on progress.

You can download the Written Statement of Action below.
Jargon Buster : What does that mean?

Stakeholders Those who have an interest in 
Engagement Taking part, being a part of
Provision Education providers