Alternative education provision for children and young people in Lancashire

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

A new strategy could be agreed by Lancashire County Council this week to help and support more children and young people in alternative education provision.



At its meeting on Thursday 1 October, the Cabinet will consider a report on the current alternative education provision across the county, how this is being used and the potential impact this may be having on key outcomes for children and young people.

Cabinet is also asked to agree a proposal for the Haven school site in Thornton-Cleveleys, and increase the capacity at Stepping Stones Short Stay School in Lancaster.

The Cabinet report recommends approving the Alternative Provision Strategy as the proposed approach to alternative provision for children and young people across the county, over the next four years.

This new approach to alternative provision in Lancashire would:
• increase the number of children and young people supported in mainstream provision;
• reduce the number of exclusions from schools;
• address the rising number of young people receiving home tuition;
• prevent children being removed from the school roll, leaving them without an education;
• halt the increasing use of specialist provision;
• ensure specialist provision is in the right locations;
• increase the number of young people in education, employment and training.

Alternative education provision is for pupils who, because of exclusion, illness, or other reasons, would not otherwise receive suitable education; for pupils on a fixed-term exclusion; or for pupils accessing off-site provision to improve their behaviour.

Capacity will also be increased for primary and secondary-aged pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs in Lancaster, Morecambe, Fleetwood and Lytham by the proposal to open the Haven school site in Thornton - Cleveleys, and to increase the capacity at Stepping Stones Short Stay School in Lancaster.

The additional places will offer specialist support and tailored facilities, helping those with complex needs to succeed.

County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, Cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: "This proposed new strategy will be discussed at Cabinet on Thursday. It builds on an independent review of our arrangements for children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs.

"Priorities in the proposed strategy include identifying children's needs at an early stage, as well as building on and sharing strategies which support development, learning and improved behaviour."

A broad range of alternative provision is currently available, provided by the local authority, through independent schools, further education colleges, charities, and registered businesses.

This provision may be therapeutic for children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs, or it may offer vocational learning.

Tagged as: Children, Education and Families


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