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Supporting and investing in Bristol SEND services

Supporting and investing in Bristol SEND services

Further steps have been taken to support and invest in services for those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Bristol.

15 December 2021

Significant improvements will be made to Elmfield School for Deaf Children, including a new, £8m state-of-the-art school building specially designed for the sensory needs of deaf children, following planning approval being granted.

The City’s Cabinet has also approved a decision to extend the SEND and You (SAY) information, advice, and support service (formerly known as SENDIASS) until March 2023 at cost of over £500,000 since the contract was first awarded in 2019.

These steps form part of the council's approach to delivering improvements to SEND services that includes the SEND Sufficiency and Capital Investment programme approved by Cabinet last year, which will see over £28m invested in Bristol’s special schools.

Councillor Asher Craig, Cabinet Lead for Children’s Services, Education and Equalities said: “I am really pleased to see these exciting projects go ahead, and to know that the children and families who attend Elmfield School for the Deaf will soon have access to a well-designed space that fully meets their needs”.

“We are committed to inclusion and equality and our actions are testament to this. We have made a significant investment in our SEND provision and will continue to make improvements.”

The SEND Sufficiency and Capital Investment programme includes major improvements to current special schools through refurbishment and new builds, including the redevelopment of Claremont School plus a new Independent Living Centre at the City of Bristol College (Phase 3 of ‘Project Rainbow’). The projects will create approximately 50 new specialist school places, for students with SEND. 

The decision to extend the SEND and You (SAY) information, advice, and support service was taken because the service helps children and young people and their families by supporting them to understand their rights, engage with services and decisions about their care and empower them to challenge services where appropriate.

Bristol City Council’s SEND service was also recently awarded funding by the UK Local Digital Fund.

The innovative winning project will develop a new digital top-up funding portal which will make the process easier and more consistent for schools to apply for extra funding for pupils with SEND.

You can find out more about Bristol City Council’s SEND services via the Local Offer website.

If you need information or advice about early support for your child's additional needs, please contact FLORA on 0117 352 6020 or via email: flora@bristol.gov.uk

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