A report seeking agreement to re-tender the Council's frameworks for Alternative Education Provision and SEND Education Day Placements.
Portfolio Holder - Councillor Jeff Morgan
Councillor Izzi Seccombe, presented this report which sought approval to procure a new single provider framework that incorporated the two existing frameworks, due to expire at the end of the academic year, covering specialist SEND education day placements and alternative education provision.
Councillor Margaret Bell noted that the report referred to alternative education provision for ages 4-16 being ten weeks full or part time and she considered that there needed to be a specific understanding of what was acceptable and the person receiving support was fully occupied. Whilst it may be that the alternative provision was short, it was important to ensure that there were activities in place for the remainder of the week.
Councillor Heather Timms welcomed the simplified approach and subsequent value for money and she expressed her concern that alternative provision did not become the norm and it was a genuine 10 week placement supporting return to the mainstream which offered opportunities for vocational training since it was important for young people to be work ready.
Councillor Seccombe welcomed the comments, particularly, around the need to support young people to be skilled to enter the workplace. She had spoken to relevant officers on the point and they too welcomed these comments. She was also keen to ensure that the alternative provision was limited to the placement described and that this should be built into the new commissioned contract. She considered that a degree of flexibility in the contract would allow for some adaptation in terms of the Education White Paper and Special Educational Needs Green Paper.
1. Approves the commencement of a procurement process to support the commissioning of specialist and alternative education placements through the independent sector.
2. Authorises the Strategic Director for Communities to enter into all relevant contracts for this purpose, on terms and conditions acceptable to the Strategic Director for Resources.