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Local First Inclusion SEND improvement programme

Local First Inclusion is the county council's new six-year programme with more than £100 million of new investment attached to it.

It has working with, and supporting teachers, teaching assistants, and headteachers, at its heart.

The programme aims to enable all children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) to get a consistently high-quality education with the right support for their needs in their local area first.

We want them to be able to flourish, whether that's in a special school or in well-supported provision in the mainstream.

The programme, which will run from 2023 to 2029, has been designed based on what teachers, professionals and families have told the council is needed. It is being funded jointly by the Department for Education and the council.

It has a total of 80 projects divided up into five different workstreams:

  • Workstream 1 is all about improving inclusion in mainstream schools, by increasing the support and funding the council provides to enable schools to build on the work they are already doing in delivering SEN Support. New teams will be working with and in schools and there will also be new free advice and support online. Much of this will be available by December 2023.
  • Workstream 2 is all about delivering earlier help and support to you in schools and direct to families through 15 new school and community teams. Most of these teams aim to be up and running in new school zones during the first half of the autumn term 2023.
  • Workstream 3 is all about creating a new model for Alternative Provision in secondary schools and then creating between 15 and 20 new AP bases to provide more help to avoid children struggling with behaviour from being excluded. Two new advisors are already in place, and the first four new AP bases aim to open in 2024.
  • Workstream 4 is about using independent schools differently. The way these places are commissioned within the independent special school sector will change.
  • Workstream 5 is about creating around 1,000 new specialist places. Two new special schools will be built and around 30 new specialist resource bases in primary and secondary schools delivered, the first ones should be in place in 2024. Some existing special schools will also be expanded.

Working closely with schools is the council's top priority because schools know children and young people with SEND best.

Many of the projects within the programme will be designed and developed with schools.

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