SEND Strategic Review and SEND Capital Provision Grant


The Local Authority has a statutory responsibility under the Children and Families Act 2014 to keep its special educational needs provision under review, to ensure sufficiency in placements to meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) working with parents/carers, young people and providers.

A review of Special Educational Needs commenced in late 2017 and identified the Special Educational needs of children and young poeple in Darlington are changing and increasing in different areas of need. Darlington also have a shortage of high quality provision places to meet the increasing need for SEN placements. The funding received by the local authority to support most vulnerable pupils is insufficient to meet demand.

An initial review into all of the mainstream and specialist provision in Darlington was undertaken in 2017/18. The analysis of this review led to the development of a draft SEND Strategy in August 2018. Concurrently a whole scale review of School Transport led to development of a new SEND Travel Assistance Policy. Therefore the Local Authority consulted on two key policy areas:

  • SEND Strategy and Funding
  • SEND Travel Assistance Policy

The public consultation in October-November 2018 sought to establish:

  • what additional educational provision is required to meet the increasing needs of learners with complex SEND
  • what, if any, improvements or changes to current provision are required
  • how best to get value for money from the limited resources available and how to best use our resources (financial, human and physical)
  • changes to SEND Transport through recommendation of a new SEND Travel Assistance Policy which will clarify eligibility; when and how transport may be provided and what further options can be made available for parents to access.

The Local Authority has analysed the consultation responses following the report to Cabinet members on 5 March 2019 and agreed the Local Area SEND Strategy. Full information can be found on the Darlington Borough Council website [external link].


DFE SEND Capital Provision Grant

We endeavour to work closely with the Parent Carer Forum in all that we do. The Parent Carer Forum and Local Authority Officers are very keen to ensure that the Draft SEND Strategy reflects the hopes, aspirations and wishes of Children and Young People in Darlington.

The Local Authority and the Parent Carer Forum have worked together on various workstreams including being partners on the SEND Steering Group. The Parent Carer Forum have been updated on the development of the high needs review, of which the use of SEND capital provision grant plan is part, and will continue to be involved.

The SEND capital provision grant will be used to invest in improving the quality and range of provision for children and young people with SEN and disabilities aged 0-25. It is intended for children and young people with education, health and care plans for whom the local authority is responsible. Local authorities can invest their share of the special provision capital fund in:

  • Creating new (additional) places at good or outstanding provision
  • Improving facilities or developing new facilities

Local authorities are required by the Department for Education to complete and publish a short plan that sets out how they intend to invest their allocation, which is visible to parents, carers and other local groups. The plan for local authorities SEND capital provision allocations should sit coherently with their wider plan. Our plan will be updated following the recommendations from Cabinet on the SEND Strategy as outlined above. The Strategy has been informed by the Strategic Analysis of SEND.


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This page was last updated on 20 September 2019

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This page was last updated on 20 September 2019