SEND school places strategy 2017-20

As parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), you're the most important people in your child’s life. By working together with us you can enhance your child’s learning and development.

We've put together a Placement Sufficiency Strategy update and a summary one page plan. We ran a survey on the strategy from 30 January to 23 February 2018. You can read a summary of the feedback we received from the survey.

The strategy looks at the support and learning needs of pupils with SEND. It will help to support schools in Barnsley to make more places for pupils with SEND, so that they can have an enjoyable school life within their own community. 

Why do we need a sufficiency strategy?

Wherever possible, children and young people should expect to have their needs met in their chosen mainstream school, so that they can be educated with their peers, in their local community.

We need to plan to make sure that, as a partnership, we can work with schools to address the support and learning needs of pupils at the earliest possible stage.

Demand for special educational need provision continues to grow and our special schools and other local settings aren’t always able to meet this demand. This can mean more children having to be placed in schools outside of Barnsley.

The Placement Sufficiency Strategy is a document that will help us to plan what we need to do to ensure we have enough specialist provision within Barnsley, and place renewed focus on meeting the needs of Barnsley pupils by improving the support available in mainstream schools.

What will the strategy do?

We want to work together to place children, young people and families at the centre of planning, respecting their views and working with them as partners to deliver best possible outcomes.

This would see us working together to provide person-centred specialist support where required, and building capacity in mainstream schools where it is in the best interests, both educationally and socially, of the child and their family. This should enable children and young people to access the educational and social benefits of mainstream schools and prevent them from requiring specialist or non-mainstream settings. 

We want to ensure that children and young people requiring ongoing specialist support are placed in the best possible provision to meet their needs and are supported to experience a stable and enjoyable school life.

This would support young people to allow them to develop their independence and to enjoy a successful transition to adulthood.

What do we need in Barnsley?

The strategy shows there is a challenge to meet the needs of children whose primary needs are:

  • social, emotional and mental health (SEMH)
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • speech, language and communication (SLCN)

SEMH and ASD account for most of the placements outside Barnsley and sometimes require children to travel long distances. We will be developing proposals to meet the needs of these and other SEND pupils in due course and will consult as appropriate.

In the meantime we would like to hear your views on the whole strategy especially if you are a child or young person, parent or carer of a child/young person with SEND, or a professional/volunteer working with SEND children and young people.

Plans to carry out the strategy

Following the consultation on the strategy we plan to use the DfE Special Provision Capital Fund to commission additional specialist places and expand existing provision where appropriate.

We are developing our plans with mainstream and special school providers in Barnsley to achieve the aims of the strategy. We'll continue to consult with parents, carers and professionals on specific proposals, as appropriate.

The plan will be updated as we develop our detailed consultation with parents, carers and other stakeholders, and as we outline any proposals concerning the use of the DfE Special Provision Capital Fund. 

If you have any comments on our proposals, please contact us at