SCD consultation

Closed 18 Dec 2020

Opened 23 Nov 2020


Meeting the needs of young people with Social and Communication Difficulties: Establishing a Social Communication Difficulty Resource (SCD) in West Reading

Reading Borough Council is statutorily obliged to provide enough school places for all young people in Reading; including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). There is an identified gap in school learning provision in the Reading West Parliamentary constituency, for young people with Education, Health and Care Plans whose primary need is social and communication difficulty (SCD) and autistic spectrum conditions.

To address this and meet the needs of these young people, it is proposed that an existing informal resource at Southcote School which currently supports 4 children of primary age be formalised as an SCD resource and its capacity built, via capital investment, to support 12 children with SCD by September 2022.

The aim is for children with SCD to have a local resource to meet their needs and will be associated with a phased reduction in the number of resource places at Christ the King School.

Why we are consulting

There is an ever-increasing number of children in West Reading who require support for social and communication difficulties and autistic spectrum conditions. Although these children have an Education Health and Care Plan, they do not require a specialist school place, but do need additional support within a mainstream school setting. A primary-age social communication difficulty resource is situated within the mainstream school and is school is nationally recognised as a best practice model for supporting young people who do not require a special school place but need more support than is usually possible within a mainstream school.

Children in the provision join mainstream classes where appropriate for lessons and activities, dependent upon their individual needs; attending 1:1 sessions within the resource for individual learning activities. Children who attend the resource may not yet have a diagnosis of Autism, but the impact of their learning needs may lead to a recommendation of educational approaches suitable for children with Social Communication needs, including Autism.  Children will have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) 

Places in the resource would be allocated by the Brighter Futures for Children SEN Panel following discussion of referrals and with senior staff from the resource base. An Individual Placement Service Level Agreement would be completed prior to the pupil attending the resource base. The SCD resource would not impact on the Schools Pupil Admission Number (PAN). Indicatively, the capital investment needed to formalise the resource at Southcote School and to build its capacity to support 12 children from September 2022 is 250k.

The aim of the consultation is to give parents, the local community and other key stakeholders in West Reading an opportunity to have their say on the establishment of a formal SCD resource at Southcote School.

What happens next

A report on the response to this consultation will be made at the SEND Strategy Board and Sufficiency and Capital Group in January 2021.


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