Broadfields Primary School ARP Consultation Feedback Report
The proposal consulted on is the development of an additional resourced provision
(ARP) at Broadfields Primary School. The school will, if the proposal is approved, be resourced for the provision of 24 places for children with Moderate Learning Difficulties (Learning and Cognition).
The consultation period started on Wednesday 19th May 2021 and closed on Tuesday 22nd June 2021.
Introduction to the Consultation
The London Borough of Barnet’s vision for all children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities is to achieve well, be confident individuals, live fulfilling lives and successfully transition to adulthood.
The Council’s SEND Strategy, sets out ambitious and realistic objectives to ensure Barnet’s provision is the first choice for children and young people with high needs and their families. A priority in the Strategy is the need to ensure that there is sufficient high-quality provision in Barnet for children with special educational needs who need access to specialist educational provision. The local authority is also committed to ensuring that children and young people with SEND benefit from inclusion in their local community by ensuring that they can access the right provision close to home as possible, and thus reducing the need for them to have to travel long distances to access out of borough or independent provision due to a lack of suitable in-borough provision. The Strategy also recognises that children with Cognition and Moderate to Severe Learning Difficulties, alongside those with Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties (SEMH) and Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) are increasing in numbers and will require specialist intervention supported in specialist resourced provision.
The existing Additional Resourced Provision (ARP) at Broadfields school was established in 2007. The ARP has a strong record of successfully catering for the needs of children with an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), whilst also building parental confidence and satisfaction.
The local authority’s SEND projections show that the number of primary school pupils with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) with Cognition and Moderate to Severe Learning Difficulties will increase from 477 in 2020/21 to 546 in 2022/23. The majority of these children will have their needs met in mainstream schools, with appropriate and necessary support. For those children with a greater level of need, access to more specialist provision is required. This is either a place in an ARP or for a small number with the most complex and significant needs, a special school.
This document outlines the proposal to develop an additional ARP at Broadfields school to help meet the growing demand of pupils with SEND, specifically for children with Cognition and Moderate to Severe Learning Difficulties.
Broadfields Primary School, with the support from the local authority, is proposing to provide an additional specialist provision for 24 places. This ARP will meet the needs of pupils with an EHCP that identifies Cognition and/or Moderate to Severe Learning Difficulties, whose needs are not severe enough to require a place at a special school and who may well benefit from spending a proportion of their time in mainstream classes.
The expansion will be implemented in the autumn term 2021, if approved. Broadfield Primary School is a 3FE primary school with 716 pupils on roll (June 2021) for children aged 2-11 years. It was rated by Ofsted as a good school during their last inspection in June 2019. The inspection report stated that the school is inclusive and welcoming.
The local authority considers that an additional ARP at Broadfields Primary School will allow for the current wide range of effective support for pupils with SEND already being delivered in the mainstream and the existing ARP at the school be developed to support a larger cohort of children. This development will further enhance the education offer the school provides to the community.
Building works for the proposed expansion will comprise three large spaces for teaching. The building will also include a sensory room, a therapy space and a group room. The new building will also include a small office, storage area and toilet facilities. The new ARP will have an external play area with a canopy over the external space and will be accessible from the classrooms. If the proposal is agreed, the building can be installed by November 2021, until then existing spaces within the school will be used, with minimal impact on the overall organisation and running of the school.
Admission and Pupil Numbers
As with all of the ARPs, admissions to the ARP follow a different procedure from that operating for the rest of the school. Admissions into the ARP will be through the Barnet SEN panel process managed by Barnet Education and Learning Service (BELS) on behalf of the council.. This will not impact on pupils who are in the mainstream setting at the school The Agreed Place Number (APN) for the ARP will be 24. This APN does not usually count against the school’s admission numbers as all ARPs in Barnet are separately and additionally funded, although their individual modes and styles of operation may be different. Therefore, the APN does not affect the school’s Published Admission Number (PAN) as set by the Local Authority.
ARPs in Barnet will be normally funded in accordance with a Place Led Funding approach that complies with the Government’s SEN Funding Reforms which came into effect in April 2018. For each place in the ARP, Broadfields Primary School will receive place funding and top-up funding which is based on the needs of each child.
The Outcome of the Consultation
The consultation provided the opportunity for stakeholders to express their views and comment on the proposal to expand the Additional Resourced Provision (ARP) at Broadfields Primary School during the period of consultation. The consultation was hosted on the Broadfields School website, and the link to the consultation was shared widely with educational professionals, parents, residents and other stakeholders in Barnet. The consultation period started on Wednesday 19th May 2021 and closed on Tuesday 22nd June 2021.
Two online consultation events for stakeholders were held on Tuesday 8th June. These were attended by - Dr Helen Phelan, Director, SEND & Inclusion Barnet Education and Learning Service, Linda Orr, Head of SEN Assessments and Placements Team, Barnet Education and Learning Service, Robin Archibald, Headteacher, Broadfields Primary School and six parents and one member of staff at Broadfields joined the meeting.
Feedback from the consultation
Of the 71 responses received, 70 of these were in support of the proposal and 1 expressed a view against the proposal. The feedback of parents who attended the parent meetings are included within these figures.
Who were the stakeholders who responded to the consultation?
Three main groups responded to the consultation. These were educational professionals (49.3%) within the London Borough of Barnet, parents (26.8%) and Barnet residents (19.7%).
How old were the children of the parents who responded to the consultation?
The majority of parent respondents were those whose children were aged between 3 and 6.
Some of the positive comments reproduced from the responses:
- Broadfields is the perfect place to have such a provision. The space, resourcing and staffing are already part of the school.
- I would say trust in the school and it’s professional knowledge of what these children need.
- This is an incredible opportunity. This new provision will provide a safe and happy place for children in our community, where they will have the opportunity to engage and take part in activities happening in the school and establish a relationship with other children. In addition, families in Barnet will be able to take their children to a local school, making it easier for them to access education. Finally, Broadfields has already got a very successful autistic provision unit, which lots of children from my local area are benefiting from.
- Thank you...this is needed.
- My own son is be kept at school corridor for 8 months exclude from classroom if places like this develop it save us
- Please help these children with the best facilities you can give.
- A very good idea to expand
- Thank you for thinking about our children.
- It is a wonderful opportunity to extend the Broadfields community.
Issues raised during the consultation and the response from the school
Comments about staff training
- It is important to ensure that staff are trained appropriately.
- Ensure that specific and appropriate training is provided to all staff working in the MLD.
- Ensure staff are fully trained to work with the high needs children.
School Response: Broadfields has a strong staff experienced in working with children with a SEND. In addition, the newly established partnership with Northway School, a local outstanding special school, will provide significant support for the staff.
Comments about increased Traffic
- To be mindful of drop off & pick up areas
- The only consideration at the moment is the traffic in the surrounding areas
School Response: A new entrance will be developed on completion of the adjacent housing development in 2022. This will avoid additional traffic near the main school entrance.
Comments about the capacity of buildings
- School shouldn’t be taking up so many extra existing rooms in the school, especially if they’re going to have another new building.
- That the new building is built with its purpose in mind.
- The sound proofing on the building as it is near to the playground. Children with autism often have heightened senses and the sound from the playground may cause discomfort.
School Response: The new building will provide the capacity necessary to accommodate the pupils. It has been purpose designed to take into account the needs of the children and staff working in the ARP,
Comments about Therapies
- The parents of the children with MLD face a difficult decision when it comes to choosing a suitable educational establishment for their child. The provision should ensure that all types of therapy needs for the children must be met and the children get a chance to join mainstream education wherever possible.
School Response: The school will provide OT, Play Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and Music Therapy. The capacity will be increased so that children in the new provision are able to benefit.
Comments about the impact on mainstream children
- The only issues I can think of are possible disruptions to learning in the new provision due to different play times with other classes, this would be due to noise levels outside. Lunchtime play may also become overwhelming for some of the children.
- No disruption to the mainstream unless they reach a stage where they are able to transition into the mainstream classroom.
School Response: The play area for the new provision will be separate from the mainstream playground which will limit the opportunity for disturbance. The school has significant experience of inclusion. The staff only arrange inclusion for children in the current ARP when the children are judged to be ready to learn with support in the mainstream and that there will be clear benefit from the activity.