Manchester City Council Report for Resolution

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1 Manchester City Council Report for Resolution Report to: Subject: Report of: Young People and Children Scrutiny Committee 4 September 2012 Impact of the proposals outlined in the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEN/D) Green Paper Next Steps document and the reform of funding for high levels of need Director of Children s Services Summary: This report highlights the key points from the government s SEN and Disability Green Paper: Next Steps document which was published in May 2012 and the reform of funding for children and young people with SEN which will be introduced to support the proposed changes to SEN. The paper also provides an update on Manchester s pathfinder which is testing some of the proposed reforms and looks at some of the potential implications of the proposed changes for Manchester. Recommendations: Members are asked to note the contents of this report. Wards Affected: All Financial Consequences Revenue The Local Authority currently spends 55,864m from the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) on education provision for children and young people with high levels of Special Educational Need or Disability (SEN/D). This includes young people with SEN/D up to the age of 19 where they are educated in a school. The Education Funding Agency (EFA) are unable to confirm at this stage what the budget allocation will be for the Local Authority for young people with high needs in Further Education (FE). In addition to the funding in the DSG there is Council budget of 7.7m specifically for services for children with disabilities. Of this 4.5m is used to provide services for families with disabled children such as Short Breaks/Respite and support from Specialist Resource Teams, including provision for early years through designated children s centres. Budget of 3.1m is used for social work and placements for Looked After Children with disabilities. Financial Consequences Capital 61

2 None Contact Officers: Name: Jenny Andrews Position: Deputy Director Children s Services Telephone: Name: Amanda Corcoran Position: Senior Strategy lead Telephone: Background documents (available for public inspection): Key points from the Education Bill and the Green Paper Support and Aspiration: A new approach to SEN and disability - Report to CYPOS

3 1. Introduction 1.1 A Green Paper called Support and Aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability (SEN/D) was published by the government in March This paper proposed a radically different system to support better life outcomes for children and young people with SEN and disability; give parents confidence by giving them more control; and transfer power to professionals on the front line and to local communities. 1.2 In August 2011, the government invited Local Authorities to apply to become pathfinders to test the proposals included within the Green Paper. Manchester Local Authority submitted a joint application with the Primary Care Trust with a proposal to focus on young people with a disability in transition from age 14 to 25. This application was accepted by the Department For Education (DFE) and has provided Manchester with an opportunity to inform future national policy as well as local practices in this area. 1.3 The DFE published its response to the consultation on the Green Paper in May The new report describes the progress being made on implementation of proposals and the next steps, including legislation in the forthcoming Children and Families Bill expected to be introduced early in Alongside this, the government has now published School Funding Reform Next steps towards a fairer system, in which the government has described a new funding system for schools. This includes proposals for the future funding of special education needs for children and young people from 0 to 25. This new funding system supports the delivery of the proposals outlined within the green paper which also impacts on funding for preschool settings and post school providers as well as schools. 1.5 This paper will outline the changes proposed in the Support and Aspiration: A new approach to SEN and disability progress and next steps; the changes to funding for SEN; provide an update on the progress of the pathfinder and will highlight some of the potential implications of these reforms for Manchester. 2. Manchester Context 2.1 Manchester, currently maintains statements for 2263 children and young people. This includes 517 children and young people with severe learning difficulties, 428 with behaviour, emotional or social difficulties and 402 with autistic spectrum disorders. Within schools or academies across the city, 21.5% pupils have been identified as having an SEN or disability which includes 1905 pupils with statements (2.7% of the school population) and 230 with individual resource agreements. 2.2 The Local Authority currently spends m from the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) on education provision for children and young people with high levels of SEN or Disability. This includes: funding for special schools and academies; funding for pupils with high levels of SEN or disability in mainstream schools, academies or settings; funding for resourced mainstream schools; placements of pupils with SEN in independent schools; sensory service; outreach services for schools etc. 63

4 2.3 The data supplied to the Local Authority from the Education Funding Agency (EFA) from 2010/11 tells us that there are approximately 250 young people from Manchester with high level needs in Further Education (FE) including specialist colleges. However, we know that numbers of young people with SEN or a disability in FE have risen since then. The Education Funding Agency (EFA) currently fund FE and 6 th form colleges directly for all of their learners including those with high levels of SEN or disability irrespective of learner residence. 2.4 Over the past 2 years the Local Authority as part of the Greater Manchester consortium has had the responsibility for directing the funding for young people attending independent specialist colleges although the EFA hold the budget. In Manchester over the last 3 years there has been an increasing number of learners in independent specialist college placements: in 2010/11 there was 31 learners, in 2011/12 there were 44 learners and in12/13 there will be 55 learners. 2.5 In addition to the funding in the DSG there is Council budget of 7.7m specifically for services for children with disabilities. Of this 4.5m is used to provide services for families with disabled children such as Short Breaks/Respite and support from Specialist Resource Teams, including provision for early years through designated children s centres. There are around 1,400 children currently in receipt of a short break or respite allocation in Manchester. Budget of 3.1m is used for social work and placements for Looked After Children with disabilities. There are currently 25 children looked after children with a disability in a placement funded by Manchester. 3. Changes to SEN 3.1 Broadly the aim of the proposals within Support and Aspiration: A new approach to SEN and disability progress and next steps is to develop a system in which: children s special educational needs are picked up early and support is routinely put in place quickly; staff have the knowledge, understanding and skills to provide the right support for children and young people who have SEN or are disabled wherever they are; parents know what they can reasonably expect their local school, local college, local authority and local services to provide, without them having to fight for it; for more complex needs, an integrated assessment and a single Education, Health and Care Plan from birth to 25; and greater control for parents over the services they and their family use. 3.2 This will be achieved through a number of reforms to the current system. The government is intending to introduce legislation through a Children and Families Bill in this session of Parliament to make changes to the law required for the proposals to be implemented. This is expected to receive royal assent early in The legislation will draw on lessons learnt from the pathfinders and will build on the reforms to the health services. It will include provision to ensure that services for disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs are 64

5 planned and commissioned jointly and that there are clear duties on all of the agencies involved. 3.3 The main areas of reform are described below. 3.4 Education, health and care plans: SEN statements (for under16s) and learning difficulty assessments (for over 16s) will be replaced with a single, integrated education, health and care plan from birth to 25 years. This means that children, young people and families will have a single assessment process, covering education, health and social care, and will ensure that families have confidence that all of the different local agencies across education, health and social care are working together to meet their needs. The new Education, Health and Care Plan will provide the same statutory protection to parents as the statement of SEN and will include a commitment from all parties to provide their services. 3.5 Personal budgets: all families with an approved education, health and care plan will have a legal right to request a personal budget, if they choose. Parents can directly buy in the support identified in the plan currently they rely on Local Authorities and other services to pay for services. Parents will be given a choice of whether to take control of the personal budget by agencies managing the funds on their behalf or, where appropriate, by receiving direct payments, if they are suitable, to purchase and manage the provision themselves. 3.6 Joint commissioning: Local Authorities and clinical commissioning groups will have to put arrangements in place to ensure that services for disabled children and young people, and those with SEN are planned and commissioned jointly. 3.7 School choice: parents whose children have an education, health and care plan would have the legal right to seek a place at any state-funded school of their choice whether maintained, academy, Free School or special. Local Authorities would have to name the parent s preferred school so long it was suitable for the child, did not prejudice the education of other children or did not mean an inefficient use of funds. 3.8 Local offer: all Local Authorities will need to publish a local offer of support, so parents know exactly what is available instead of having to fight for basic information. It is envisaged that all parents would be given details of: early years, school and college provision and transport to and from it; social care services available, including short breaks; health services, including speech and language therapy; how to access specialist support; and special and specialist school provision available including training providers and apprenticeships. 3.9 Mediation and the tribunal and children s right to appeal to a tribunal: this introduces mediation before a Tribunal for disputes and also proposes trialling giving children the right to appeal if they are unhappy with their support The document states that the current categories of School Action and School Action Plus will be replaced with a single category. The new category will focus on outcomes rather than process. The Government will revise the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice to give clear guidance on identifying children who have SEN 65

6 and on the operation of a new single category of SEN. There will also be consideration on how the current category of behaviour social emotional difficulties might be redefined in a way that helps professionals to identify what underlying emotional or social issues might be present, and ensure the right help is put in place. This work will be completed in time for the definition to be updated within a new Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 4. Changes to funding of SEN 4.1 The changes to funding of SEN which will be introduced in April 2013 will ensure that there is a single approach to funding SEN from 0 to 25 which is responsive to the individual needs of children and young people and supported by clear information in the form of a local offer about high needs provision available in schools, colleges and other providers. In addition, the new SEN funding system aims to: not create perverse incentives to favour one form of provision over another; smooth the existing differences between funding methods for Post-16 students in schools and Further Education (FE) colleges; improve the arrangements for consistent funding between maintained schools and academies / free schools ; reduce bureaucracy and increase dialogue between commissioner and providers; establish comparable funding rates across settings. 4.2 The new system will be based on a combination of place and pupil led funding and is referred to as a place plus approach which will be applied across all types of schools, academies, colleges, settings and alternative provision. Using this approach, a child or young person with high needs is defined as requiring provision which costs more the 10, All mainstream schools, whether maintained, academies or free schools will receive a notional SEN budget as part of their formula allocation as well as an age weighted pupil unit. They will be expected to use this funding to provide up to 10,000 of support for any pupil with SEN. For pupils with higher level needs who require over the 10,000 of educational provision, the Local Authority can agree to provide top up funding to the school which will be based on the assessed need of that individual pupil. 4.4 For specialist schools and specialist settings within mainstream schools each place required by a Local Authority will be funded in advance at 10,000 (base funding). For children and young people attending these settings who require provision beyond the 10,000 place value, the Local Authority will provide top up funding. The top up funding could be calculated using a banding or matrix system, but it would also be possible to have individual discussions about funding requirements for each individual pupil 4.5 This means a radical change in the funding methodology for special schools. Rather than a formula with many different components, the only funding received 66

7 would be the base and top up. Schools would be protected in 2013/14 by ensuring budgets reduced by no more than 1.5% in cash terms compared with 2012/ Places commissioned by the LA should be reviewed regularly (at least every two years) to match need so that there are not empty places in one area with pressure in another. Top up funding should move in real time as the child /young person moves in and out of the school i.e. allocated when the child attends and removed when the child leaves. 4.7 Within independent special schools, the DFE s intention is that the same arrangements of base and top up funding should apply as for maintained special schools. They would like to get to the position where the amount of top up funding required would be the same for every possible setting, to avoid perverse incentives. However, it seems unlikely that most independent schools would accept this. 4.8 For Post 16 Funding the intention is to replace the current statementing system (whilst at school) followed by a Learners with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LLDD) section 139a assessment on leaving school, with a single Education, Health and Care Plan Funding will then be based on a similar place plus banding system as for pre 16 as follows: per student funding calculated using the funding formula which recognises the different programmes of learning that the young person is accessing (approximately 4,000 per student) ; additional support of up to 6,000 which would be from within the setting s budget; a top up which would be paid by the commissioning authority. 4.9 Mainstream early years settings, schools, and private, voluntary and independent sector providers, do not receive the equivalent of a notional SEN budget like mainstream schools. The DFE believes that as many are very small in size, it would not be practicable to introduce such an arrangement. The Local Authority will continue to work with all providers to ensure the needs of these children and pupils are met within the Early Years Single Funding Formula, and agree the point at which any additional funding would be provided In relation to pupils aged younger than 5 placed in specialist settings, for example special schools or specialist provision in mainstream schools, provision for these pupils is currently funded in the same way as for pupils aged 5-16 in specialist settings. The DFE proposes that this would continue under a place-plus approach The diagram below illustrates the place plus approach to funding SEN which has been described. 67

8 5. Role of the Local Authority 5.1 The Local Authority will be the commissioner of specialist provision, have responsibility for providing top up funding for those children and young people assessed as requiring provision costing more than 10,000 and hold a central budget for SEN Services as part of the High Needs Block. 5.2 The Local Authority will have the strategic role to ensure that the right provision was available in the right place at the right time and will need to engage with the providers to commission / agree pre planned places and liaise with the Education Funding Agency (EFA) regarding the outcome. Local Authorities will also have the ability to allocate additional funding to schools with unusually high levels of SEN due to parental preference if the local formula does not reflect need. 5.3 The Local Authority will continue to be responsible for naming schools in Statements of SEN (and in single plans when they become statutory); parents will still have the right to appeal to SEN and Disability Tribunal over the level of provision written in Statements. 6. Role of the Education Funding Agency (EFA) 6.1 The Education Funding Agency (EFA) will allocate and distribute the national High Needs Block budgets to Local Authorities. They will review with commissioners 68

9 and adjust base funding to reflect the specialist places needing to be commissioned. There is also a suggestion that EFAs will hold contracts with providers from non maintained independent provision. 7. Role of the Provider 7.1 Providers will be accountable for progress and addressing identified needs in individual children and young people. Providers will be expected to publish a local offer as to how they will meet additional needs for children / young people attending their provision. This needs to be transparent and readily accessible to parents. 8. SEN pathfinder update 8.1 The work of the Pathfinder is divided into several overlapping workstreams: 8.2 Single Education, Health and Care Plan and personalised Budgets To date 22 young people and families have agreed to take part in the programme and draft plans created with 12 young people so far. The other young people in the cohort (and their parents/carers) are being signed up between July and end of September A number of different models for the single plans are being tested, but all will be outcome focussed and person centred. The plans should be aspirational and aggregated information from them should help with commissioning. Parents are telling us is that plans should focus on What do I (the young person) need now, what do I want to do in the future and what support will I need to get there. The Pathfinder is using a key working approach. These are staff from a range of agencies (including: schools, colleges, Connexions, health, social care, supported employment) who are already working with the young person and will be acting as Plan Co-ordinators as an extension of their role. This approach is being used as a way of embedding single planning into the practice of a wide range of agencies. The approach is also being tested to determine if it cost effective will it save time and money and will it be possible to scale up once the single plan is a requirement for children and young people with SEN/Disabilities aged The Pathfinder is learning from and feeding into other programmes within the City (such as Short Breaks, MCAF, Right To Control, Personal Health Budgets, Complex Families, Short Term Intervention Team). Pathfinders have the power to award direct payments for education. So far there has been little interest from families in taking up this option, but we expect it may be used in future for young people moving into further education particularly where it can be aligned with a personal transport budget and social care direct payment. 8.3 Local Offer and Information A requirement for pathfinders is to improve information to young people and families about the range of opportunities and services available to them. This includes: what support a pupil with Special Educational Needs will ordinarily be able to access within a school or college, through to what services families should expect from social care and health services. 69

10 Our Local Offer and Information group (which includes parents) are working with the Family Information Service to improve the range and accessibility of information on the Family Service Directory (FSD) and will be publicising this to all families and staff.the group is gathering success stories to publish on the FSD and elsewhere to help raise aspirations. We are exploring how digital technologies can improve access to information including through a safe social networking space. A conference is being planned for young people, parents and the staff supporting them on 19 th October with speakers from the Departments for Education and Health to share some success stories, outline the draft legislation and give delegates chance to feed into the legislative process. 8.4 Pathways to Employment The Pathfinder expects that employment will be an outcome for as many young people as possible, so our Employment workstream has brought together partners from the City Council, Jobcentre Plus, Connexions, supported employment and education providers to work on raising aspirations and breaking down barriers to employment. The group is planning a Dragon s Den event in spring for young people to showcase their talents to employers and ask for things such as part time jobs, work experience, interview practice. The group will also help schools and colleges develop their work related curriculum with the aim of greater numbers of young people being able to access supported internships. We are able to use the opportunity of changes to the way high needs students are funded in post 16 to ensure more disabled young people are able to get experience of work whilst still in education. 8.5 Skills Development 26 Plan Co-ordinators and their managers have been briefed so far on the aims of Pathfinder and their role in supporting young people to have a single plan and smoother process of transition. This workstream is analysing the training and development needs of staff to help them with the culture change that will be required to fully implement single plans and personalised budgets. It is also exploring the skills development needs of young people and parents/carers to help them lead their plans and manage their budgets. The training plan for autumn for staff from statutory and voluntary sector and parents includes: Person Centred Planning, Job Coaching, Keyworking, Housing options, Individual Budgets. 8.6 Young people and parents representation Pathfinder parents are being offered the chance to attend a peer support group (facilitated by Local Authority staff). The group meets 2 weekly alternating between north and central Manchester. The pathfinder has appointed a young people s advocacy group to gather and represent the views of the young people in the cohort as well as providing wider information on the barriers faced by young people in transition. The 70

11 group are employing 2 disabled young people to act as interviewers and researchers and will be running a young people s conference in the autumn. 8.7 Work with Greater Manchester Manchester is one of five Pathfinders in Greater Manchester (the others are Oldham/Rochdale, Trafford and Wigan) and we meet regularly. A conference will be held in October to share learning with the other Greater Manchester boroughs. 8.8 The Manchester Pathfinder has received 2 visits from the national evaluation team so far. Manchester is ahead of many other areas in signing up families and starting plans and was the first area to register a completed plan on the Pathfinder site. The feedback from the evaluator is that we have set ourselves an ambitious programme both in scale of families and staff involved and the range of activities. However, there has been enormous interest and goodwill from all agencies approached to become involved in the pathfinder and a great desire from families to work with us on improving both processes and outcomes. 9. Implications of the reforms for Manchester 9.1 General concerns have been raised with the DFE that the proposals are not well developed enough pathfinders have not made sufficient progress or been evaluated, yet the system is being designed in advance of this work. It is certainly too early to know whether the changes being tested in Manchester will lead to improved outcomes for the young people involved in the programme and improve transition to adulthood. However, we have been assured that the outcomes and learning from all pathfinders will inform each stage of the legislative process and we are in regular contact with the DFE regarding these reforms 9.2 The principle of a single Education, Health and Social care plan replacing a Statement of SEN is positive. In Manchester since September 2010 we have successfully introduced an individual resourcing agreement as an alternative to a Statement of SEN for some pupils whose needs have already been identified as it is more responsive and flexible than a Statement. We have already started to consider how we align our assessment processes for education provision and short breaks so that a short breaks offer could be included within this type of agreement. However, it remains unclear what the specific statutory responsibilities of Health will be in relation to the plan. Currently health do not have a statutory responsibility to provide services which are described within a statement of SEN which in some cases results in the Local Authority, which does have a statutory responsibility, funding health services such as speech and language therapy. 9.3 Continuing a single plan for a young person through to 25 rather than the current system of stopping statements of SEN at 16 or 18 and reassessing a young person under different legislation is a welcome improvement. This will also be supported by the proposed reforms to SEN funding where the same funding system will be in place for schools, colleges and other providers and so the funding which supports delivery of the plan can follow the young person. This may open up more opportunities for some young people and enable them to access more flexible packages of provision than the current system. We are also working as part of an 71

12 AGMA consortium with a pooled education budget and an agreed pricing structure to commission post 16 provision for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities to develop the range of opportunities for young people across the region. 9.4 The system for funding SEN in Manchester mainstream schools is similar to the one described within the reforms. We have worked with settings, schools, colleges and other partners to develop a Matching Provision to Need Tool which details the provision we expect schools or providers to make for children and young people without a statement or resource agreement and the provision made available by the Local Authority for children and young people with high levels of need. These documents will form the basis of our local offer and will be used to inform parents/carers about what they should expect to find available in any school, academy or setting within the city before any top up funding is provided by the Local Authority. 9.5 There are some concerns that the proposed process for commissioning specialist places through the EFA will not be able to respond quickly to changes in demand for specialist provision and types of places. This would be significant in Manchester because of the transience within our population and also because of the continued growth in population which has led to an increased demand for specialist places. It is therefore essential that we continue to have a strong partnership with all of our special schools to maintain the flexibility and responsiveness we have developed within the existing system and also to ensure that the places within Manchester s special schools are primarily made available for Manchester residents and are not commissioned by other Local Authorities working directly with the schools. 9.6 There are also potentially some challenges for Manchester and all local authorities regarding increased availability of personal budgets for families: Planning and commissioning high quality services in the context of some families wanting services and some wanting personal budgets which leads to a mixed economy; This would mean for providers a move from block contracts with the Local Authority to individual contracts with families this presents a challenge for keeping providers on board, growing the market and quality assuring providers; This places a lot of work and responsibility on families especially where there is a significant amount of funding and may involve them becoming an employer; There are a whole range of issues regarding the proposals to use education funding for personal budgets which could mean that families are using their top up funding allocation to employ support staff to work in their child s school or funding specialist staff to come in and work with a pupil during school time. Some special schools may not be viable if a significant number of their families opt to have their top up funding as a personal budget. 9.7 A further risk is that the allocation of high needs funding for Manchester does not take into account our growing school age population and the increased demand this places on resources for high needs pupils which includes special school places, 72

13 top up funding, access to outreach and specialist services which the Local Authority will need to provide for children and young people with SEN. This is something which is being followed up with the DFE 10. Conclusion 10.1 These reforms are significant and some aspects such as the changes to SEN funding are being introduced very quickly at a time when all Local Authorities have reduced capacity to implement them. However, for a number of years Manchester has followed some of the direction of travel outlined in this paper and is therefore in a good position to implement many of the reforms. So for example, Manchester delegated a significant amount of SEN budget to mainstream schools in 2008 with a clear expectation of the level of provision (approximately to the value of 10,000) which should be provided by schools using their budget before any additional resources are allocated by the Local Authority for an individual pupil Furthermore, many of the key elements which will form part of our local offer are already in place including our Short Breaks Statement which was published in 2011, our Matching Provision to Need Tool, a home to school transport policy, service level agreements with our special schools to provide outreach and training, strong SENCO networks and a well developed continuum of specialist provision. All of our special schools also work in a collaborative partnership with the Local Authority with its key aim of effectively meeting the needs of all Manchester children and young people with SEN As a pathfinder authority, Manchester is also in a good position to influence the detail behind some of these reforms and is in regular contact with the DFE. For example, through this close working we have already managed to influence some changes to how top up funding is calculated for individual pupils and that the same amount of top up funding can not be portable across different types of setting The transformation programme for the City Council will also mean that Manchester is well placed to support the implementation of these reforms. The closer alignment of adult and children s social care teams to integrate service delivery will improve transition arrangements for young people with SEN or a disability and the development of an integrated commissioning hub will support the requirement to jointly commission services for disabled children, young people and their families with Health. 73

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