ADD2094 Review of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2094
Date signed: 
20 March 2017
Decision by: 
Mark Kleinman, Assistant Director of Economic and Business Policy

Executive summary

The London Area Review and Adult Community Learning Review recommended that a pan-London review of post 16 Special Educational Needs and Disabilities should be conducted to establish an accurate picture of demand and of services’ capacity to meet that demand. The Department for Education have agreed to accept an application for up to £50,000 for Transition Grant funding to conduct such a review in London. In line with eligibility criteria, Kingston College have agreed to submit the funding application on behalf of services and providers across London. The work will then be contracted out. It is proposed that the GLA provides the requisite 25% financial match, as the work will inform the London Skills Strategy, ahead of devolution of the Adult Education Budget to the Mayor from 2019/20. 

 

Decision

That the Assistant Director of Economic and Business Policy approves expenditure of £12,500 from the skills devolution budget, to provide grant funding to Kingston College as a contribution to a pan-London review of SEND needs, which the college will be commissioning on behalf of services and providers across London, aligning with the GLA’s planning for devolution of the Adult Education Budget. 

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

During the London Area Review, it was agreed that data on educational need and provision in London for those aged 16+ with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) was incomplete and out of date, and that priority should be given to developing an up-to-date picture of demand and of services’ capacity to meet that demand.  

The London Adult Community Learning Review, which ran in parallel with the London Area Review, also recommended that further work should be done to determine future SEND need and how to address it.

The Department for Education have agreed to accept an application for Transition Grant funding for up to £50,000 to conduct such a pan-London SEND review. This funding is made available to support implementation of Area Review recommendations. The deadline for the application is 31 March 2017. Financial match of 25% (£12,500) must be provided.  

The outline for the proposed review and Transition Grant application has been developed collaboratively between the GLA, London Councils and the Association of Colleges, and consulted on widely to ensure that it meets the needs of services and providers across the capital and well as the needs of London Government. 

In line with the eligibility criteria established for the Transition Grant, Kingston College has agreed to submit the application on behalf of services and providers across London and to handle the subsequent tendering process for the review which is to be contracted out. The college will not charge a management fee for this. 

Outputs of the proposed SEND Review will, in addition to assisting providers across London,  inform the development of a post-16 London Skills and Education Strategy ahead of devolution of the Adult Education Budget to the Mayor from 2019/20 (subject to readiness conditions).  It is therefore proposed that the GLA provides the requisite financial match of 25% (£12,500), should Kingston College’s application be successful, as a contribution to the costs of undertaking the Transition Grant funded activity. 

Subject to approval of the Transition Grant application, this would result in a total contract value of £62,500 to be procured through a competitive tendering process by Kingston College on behalf of services and providers across London. 
 

Objectives and expected outcomes

The objective is to conduct a London-wide review to identify the SEND education supply gap in London and produce a robust and sustainable methodology for analysing projected demand for post-16 provision to inform annual planning cycles.

The expected outputs and outcomes of the project include: 
•    Robust analysis of projected SEND education demand in London for the next five years
•    Identification of what targeted and specialist services are needed to meet this demand
•    Analysis of current SEND education provision by type and location 
•    Identification of robust datasets for future demand analysis and planning of provision 
•    Recommendations for London government, colleges and the Department for Education on a sustainable approach to developing responsive SEND provision. 

The research findings will be used to inform the post-16 London Skills and Education Strategy, and ongoing curriculum and service planning across London. 
 

Equality comments

The proposed SEND Review focusses specifically on identifying and addressing the needs of those with protected characteristics, namely those with special educational needs and / or disabilities.  The review will cover demand for and supply of all types of SEND from Alternative Provision, through to provision for young people with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities, behavioural difficulties, or mental and physical health conditions. 

 

Other considerations

a) Key risks and issues 

Key risks associated with this proposal are: 

i.    The application for Transition Grant funding is rejected
Mitigation: An outline of the proposed application has been shared with the Department for Education ahead of submission. 

ii.    The GLA does not have appropriate influence over the procurement process or the management of the review contractor in line with its financial contribution to the project.
Mitigation: GLA officers have been liaising with Kingston College over the terms of the procurement process and subsequent contract management and will ensure that the funding  agreement with the college records the GLA’s requirements in this regard. This can include linking our financial contribution to specific output such as completion of the tendering process and completion of the final report.

iii.    An appropriate contractor cannot be found to complete the work 
Mitigation:  Potential contractors with the requisite skills and resources to complete the work have already been identified. 

iv.    The review does not meet London’s needs
Mitigation: Consultation has taken place with stakeholders across London on the proposed aims and scope of the review (see below). 

b) Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities 

The proposed pan-London SEND Review links to several of the Mayor’s manifesto commitments including to:  
•    Develop a city-wide, strategic approach to skills, identifying gaps in provision 
•    Use the local area review process to ensure FE provision meets the needs of London’s economy and is of the high-quality that Londoners deserve
•    Support the development of, and protect schemes which expand opportunities for people with disabilities to work and gain skills 

The proposed SEND Review will respond to recommendations from the London Area Review and Adult Community Learning Review, and the findings will help to inform the development of a post-16 London Skills and Education Strategy ahead of devolution of the Adult Education Budget to the Mayor in 2019/20.  

c) Impact assessments and consultations

GLA officers have consulted widely on the aims and scope of the proposed SEND Review including with the Department for Education, the sub-regional partnerships of boroughs, Directors of Children’s Services and Directors of Adult services via London Councils, and London colleges via the Association of Colleges. The agreed outline will form the basis of the specification when the work is put out to tender. 
 

Financial comments

5.1    The proposed grant of £12,500 to Kingston College will be funded from the Skills Devolution budget held within the Economic Business Policy Unit in 2017-18, specifically from budget provision re-profiled from 2016-17.

 

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Application for Transition Grant funding submitted

By 31 March 2017

Decision on Transition Grant funding award received

By 7 April 2017

Award of GLA grant funding and execution of grant funding agreement by the GLA and Kingston College  

By end April 2017

SEND Review put out to tender

By 10 May 2017

Contractor in place

By 7 June 2017

Work commences

June 2017

Interim report

September 2017

Final report

December 2017