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Proposal to cease MLD(Moderate Learning Difficulties) provision at Blaengarw Primary School.

 

This consultation has now closed

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Consultation Documents

Please click here for the decision.

Please click here for the final consultation report.

Please click here for the statutory notice in respect of the proposal.

Proposal 

In order to meet the growth in the incidence of pupils with ASD including specialist provision for high-functioning pupils with ASD at KS2,3 and 4, it is proposed that there is realignment of reducing numbers of pupils requiring MLD specialist provision. The consultation is to invite your views on the proposal to cease MLD provision at Blaengarw Primary School. The Learning Resource Centre was set up for 15 pupils with MLD.

In order to take this forward, it is necessary to carry out a consultation exercise with staff, parents, pupils, interested parties and the governing body as the first step in the statutory process. If carried through to completion, the proposal would come into effect on 1st September 2014.

What the proposal means in practice.

The proposal if approved would mean that:

  • The 1 pupil identified with MLD in Year 6 would transition to the local Secondary School and access the usual range of “mainstream” experiences. This will be achieved through the curriculum and the school as a community, whilst maintaining the support of the specialist educational input to meet the pupil’s  needs.

  • The 1 year 4 pupil and the 1 year 5 pupil will be integrated into a mainstream class at Blaengarw with support currently in place at the school.

  • From the pupils’ point of view, we expect that there will be a seamless transition in the transfer to Secondary School and being integrated into a mainstream class. Their progress will be closely monitored and individual plans reviewed.

  • There will be no change to pupils’ home to school transport arrangements as a result of this proposal as the current policy still stands.

  • The total full year savings within the overall protected Primary Schools Delegated Budget of approximately £45,000. This could be re-allocated to fund the growth in Special Class provision in other areas of the County Borough.                                         

Why has this proposal been brought forward?

Since 2005, Bridgend County Borough Council has been working with schools to implement two strategies:

  • Learning Communities: Schools of the Future, and
  • Education  
  • Inclusion.

An important principle adopted by the Council is that decision-making should be close to delivery as possible. This approach means that decisions can be made more quickly and often with better information than under an “arm’s length” arrangement. Also, performance management is likely to be more effective.

Learning Communities: Schools of the future and the Education Inclusion Strategy support the principles that, as far as possible, children should be educated within a main school environment and as near to home as possible.

There is a reduction of pupils requiring MLD specialist provision and a growth in the incidence of pupils with ASD including high-functioning pupils with ASD at KS2, 3 and 4.

Staffing

The existing staff will be offered alternative employment within the Local Authority. 

What are the advantages if the proposal goes ahead?

Quality and standards in education

  • Outcomes (standards and wellbeing).

Pupils including those with SEN, achieve good standards in knowledge, understanding and skills. Most pupils have positive attitudes to learning, succeed well regardless of their social, ethnic or linguistic backgrounds and reach agreed targets and goals set by the school.

Pupils in relation to their varying abilities, including those with SEN, achieve well, and make good progress towards fulfilling their potential and moving on to the next stage of their learning.

The contribution of the school to the well-being of pupils is good with outstanding features.  When Blaengarw were last inspected in April 2008, standards were judged as Grade 2.  When the 2007 CSI for KS2 (pupils attaining at least level 4 in all of Mathematics, Science and English) is compared with LA and national benchmarks, it is above the county and all Wales figures.  When compared with similar schools over the last three years, there has been an overall improvement into the upper 50%.

The Year 4 and 5 pupils integrating into a mainstream class would benefit from these good outcomes.

  • Provision (learning experiences, teaching, care support and guidance and learning environment);

All aspects in this area were judged as a Grade 1.

Nearly all pupils have very good attitudes to learning. Teachers provide a wide range of stimulating activities and as a result, pupils enjoy coming to school. The particularly outstanding feature in nearly all lessons is the positive working relationship among teachers, support staff and pupils, which fosters learning very effectively.

The Year 4 and 5 pupils integrating into a mainstream class would benefit from a stimulating learning environment, 

  • Leadership and management (leadership, improving quality, partnership working and resource management);

The leadership and management were judged as a Grade 1.

Leaders have an outstanding knowledge of the school and are very well informed about the areas for which they are responsible.

The school has a very positive partnership with parents. The governing body makes effective arrangements to oversee SEN in the school. The governor for SEN has close links with the school on a daily basis and regularly supports the SENCo, staff and pupils with additional learning needs.

The Year 4 and year 5 pupils and their parents would be very well supported with the transition into mainstream.

Finance

The proposed closure of the MLD class will generate total full year savings of approximately £45,000 within the overall protected Primary Schools Delegated Budget. This could be re-allocated to fund the growth in Special Class provision in other areas of the County Borough.

What are the potential disadvantages if the proposal goes ahead?

Any such changes can cause anxiety for some people, especially where they are happy with the current arrangements. There may also be confusion about how these proposals sit alongside other changes, for instance those related to the “Statementing or something better” pilots and forthcoming legislation.

Details of the affected school

Blaengarw  Primary School.
Station Street,
Blaengarw,
Bridgend.
CF32 8BA.

The table below provides details of the September 2013 numbers on roll at Blaengarw Primary School and the figures recorded for the previous four annual censuses. 

 

Jan-2010

Jan-2011

Jan-2012

Jan-2013

Sept-2013

 

F/T

P/T

F/T

P/T

F/T

P/T

F/T

P/T

F/T

P/T

Blaengarw Primary

23N

and

158

7N

23N

and

165

4N

17N

and

155

9N

23N

and

146

6N

20N + 153

0

The following table provides a 5 year projection of pupil population for Blaengarw Primary School which is an English Medium Primary School with a pupil capacity of 4-11, 152, nursery 16, graded as Condition B.

Year

Nursery 1&2

Reception

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Total

 

2-4

4 - 5

5 - 6

6 - 7

7 - 8

8 - 9

9 - 10

10 - 11

2-11

2014

29

23

19

24

25

19

19

20

178

2015

28

22

24

19

24

25

20

19

181

2016

28

25

23

24

19

24

25

20

188

2017

28

21

27

23

24

19

24

25

191

2018

28

23

22

27

23

24

19

24

190

Other Considerations

Summaries of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales (Estyn) inspection reports relating to Blaengarw Primary School are included at Appendix A.

Impact Assessment: Community.

There is no significant negative impact on the community.

Impact Assessment: Equalities.

As part of the overall process, the Council has a duty to consider the implications of any proposal on all members of the local community who may be affected unfairly as a result of the proposal being carried out.

An initial assessment has been made of the potential for inequality of opportunity arising from these and a full equalities impact assessment will be undertaken in parallel with the consultation process. The outcomes and actions identified by this assessment will be included in a report to cabinet on the consultation process.

If you have any views on the potential of this proposal to affect any groups or individuals either positively or adversely, then we would welcome your comments as part of this consultation.

The consultation and statutory process.

The consultation process will be completed by 16th January 2014 and the outcomes (which will be incorporated into the proposal where possible) will be reported to a cabinet meeting on the 4th February 2014. If there is a decision not to proceed, that will be the end of this proposal for the future and an alternative proposal will need to be sought.

If the decision is to go ahead, a statutory notice outlining the proposals would need to be published for a period of 28 days and any formal written objections at this Public Notice stage, Cabinet will need to consider the proposal. Cabinet could then accept, reject or modify the proposal. If there are no objections to the proposal, then it will go ahead subject to final approval by Cabinet.

The provisional timetable and procedure are as follows:

3 December 2013 to 16 January 2014 Consultation period where we welcome your views and observations on the proposal. Please note that responses to consultation will not be counted as objections to the proposal and that objections can only be registered following publication of the Public Notice.
17 January 2014 Publish Consultation Report on BCBC website, hard copies of the report will be available on request.
4 February 2014 Consultation report to Cabinet on the outcomes of the consultation.
12 February 2014 If agreed by the Cabinet of Bridgend County Borough Council, a Public Notice will be published and there will be a period of 28 days in which to submit any objections to the proposal in writing.
12 March 2014 End of Public Notice period. If there are no objections Cabinet can immediately  decide whether to proceed or not. If there are any objections, an Objections Report will be published by 31 March 2014 forwarded to Cabinet for their consideration and subsequent determination. 

What do you now have to consider?

You are invited to consider the proposal and submit your views as to whether or not you support the proposal to cease MLD provision at Blaengarw Primary School.

How do you make your views known?

There will be consultation meetings held as detailed below for the different interested parties. You are invited to attend the relevant meeting where you can hear an explanation of the proposal, put questions and express any views or concerns you may have.

Venue: Blaengarw Primary School Date Time
Staff of Blaengarw Primary School 5 December 2013 3.30pm
Governing Body Blaengarw Primary School 5 December 2013 4.30pm
Parents of Pupils at Blaengarw Primary School and other interested parties      9 January 2014 5.30pm
School Council of Blaengarw Primary School TBC TBC

If you have any further questions regarding this proposal, wish to put your views in writing, suggest alternative proposals or request a copy of the consultation report when published, please contact (using the attached proforma): 

Corporate Director- Children
Children’s Directorate
Sunnyside
Bridgend
CF31 4AR.

Please mark for the attention of Ellen Franks or e-mail ellen.franks@bridgend.gov.uk

All views must be received by no later than 16 January 2014.

Appendix A

Summary of Estyn, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales inspection of Blaengarw Primary School.

The School’s Aims

These are wide and appropriate.

The School’s Mission statement

The School’s mission statement is “Blaengarw Primary School seeks to be a happy, caring community in which all who work are valued, supported and treated with respect and tolerance. In so seeking, we hope everyone will be motivated to achieve their full potential and strive for the highest standards of teaching, learning and behaviour.

Summary

Blaengarw Primary School is a vibrant school. It is a well organised setting with many good and outstanding features. Pupils benefit from a wide range of experiences where they achieve well and experience success. The school is particularly well led and managed.

Table of grades awared

Key Question Grade
1. How well do learners achieve? 2
2. How effective are teaching, training and assessment? 1
3. How well do the learning experiences meet the needs and interests of learners and the wider community? 2
4. How well are learners cared for, guided and supported? 1
5. How effective are leadership and strategic management? 1
6. How well do leaders and managers evaulate and improve quality and standards? 1
7. How efficient are leaders and managers in using resources? 1

Standards

In the subjects inspected, standards of achievement in lessons were judged as follows:

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5
24% 70% 6% 0% 0%

The five-point scale used to represent all inspection judgements in this report is as follows:

Grade 1-  good with outstanding features.

Grade 2 – good features and no important shortcomings.

Grade 3 – good features outweigh shortcomings.

Grade 4 – some good features, but shortcomings in important areas.

Grade 5 – many important shortcomings.

Pro Forma - Proposal to cease MLD provision at Blaengarw Primary School.

Name:

Contact details:

Are you (please tick):

School Governor                                    Parent/Guardian

School Pupil                                           School staff

Other interested party (specify):

Comments/suggestions/requests/questions:

 

This consultation has now closed.

Last Updated: 17/07/2014
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