Proposal for change of provision at Oaklands Park School

08/06/2016

Proposal to make a change in provision at:  Oaklands Park School, John Nash Drive, Dawlish, Devon, EX7 9SF

 

School and LA details   

Devon County Council, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter,     Devon, EX2 4QD   

Oaklands Park School   

John Nash Drive   

Dawlish, Devon, EX7 9SF. 

   

Description of alterations

Proposal to change provision from 30 day places and 25 residential places to:
provision for 60 pupils, boys and girls, aged 3-19, including 17 residential places of which 7 will be on a termly basis and 10 on a weekly basis.  Also to re-designate the School from Severe Learning Difficulties to Severe Learning Difficulties, Complex Communication and Interaction Difficulties and Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) with effect from 31 July 2016.

Evidence of demand 

Following inspection of the Children’s Home (25 residential places) where inadequacies were identified, the Governing Body recognised that the service provided by Oaklands Park School would need to change in order to provide the students with the best standard of care.  It has therefore been decided to close the Children’s Home and provide a boarding provision only at the School.  The School will not be offering respite care.  In order to achieve this it will be necessary to re-register the provision at Oaklands Park with Ofsted.  The change in number of pupils, boarding provision and change of designation will provide for a wider range of children with complex communication and interaction difficulties and autism, both high functioning and less able academically.

These proposals are in line with Devon County Council’s Local Offer, which can be viewed at: https://new.devon.gov.uk/send/

Objectives: 

This provision would fill a gap in provision available and provide parents with additional choice.

Education standards

The School was inspected by Ofsted February 2016 and requires improvement.  However, Ofsted recognised that the recently appointed executive Headteacher has a clear vision for the school’s development and is resolute in her determination for the school to rapidly improve.  Since the change in leadership, Ofsted noted that parents are now overwhelmingly positive about the school. 

The effect on other Schools, Academies and educational institutions in the area:

This proposal would not have a negative impact on any local schools and would in fact support them by providing specialist provision for children who are not coping/progressing in a mainstream setting.

Project Costs

The proposals at Oaklands Park will require no capital funding.

Implementation and any proposed stages for implementation:

The proposals for Oaklands Park will be implemented with effect from July 2016

Effect on existing pupils

In planning and commissioning SEND provision the proposals are in line with Devon’s Local Offer to ensure that children and young people with SEND should have the expectation to be part of their local community.  Our multi-agency approach has a strong focus on improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND as well as involving them and their families in developing provision.  The provision takes into account the demand for places at and will provide access to specialist support for more pupils. 

Current students, pre-18, will not be affected by the change as they will remain in the residential provision.  Those over 18 will move to adult services, which would be the natural progression from the Children’s Home.  Alternative respite provision is being identified by social care and education.

Consultation

The consultation period was from 11 April to 24 May 2016.  One response has been received from a consultee who was disappointed that the closure of the respite provision and 52 week provision (the Children’s Home at the school) occurred six days before the public information session was held.  The respondent was angry that the decision to close the Children’s Home had no right of appeal and wanted further clarification on how the closure of this provision was to the benefit of parents.  The respondent felt that consultation should have been carried out prior to the closure of the respite/52 week provision: the Children’s Home.

In response to this, the closure of the Children’s Home was taken as a result of an inspection by Ofsted.  Closure in this respect is not subject to public consultation particularly where the care and welfare of children is being considered and is a decision that will be taken by the Local Authority in conjunction with Ofsted and in the best interests of pupils and parents. 

Consultation is however required on making prescribed alterations to maintained schools and it was stated within the consultation brochure that a decision had been made to close the Children’s Home.  The consultation, although related, was therefore in relation to the change of provision at the School and the residential provision is remaining open as part of the ongoing provision at the school.

Response to Brief Notice 

You can object to or comment on the proposals by:

 On line survey via:  https://new.devon.gov.uk/haveyoursay/

 Email:  schoolconsultations@devon.gov.uk

 Writing to:  Strategic Planning Children’s Services, Room AB2, Devon County Council, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD.

 by the closing date of 5pm on 7 July 2016