The consultation will run for 12 weeks, until 18 December. During this time the county council is keen find out what people think about the proposals and whether there are alternative ideas about how the issues highlighted could be addressed.
The proposals would involve changes to the age ranges and amendments to the designation of the eight special schools within Northumberland (Cleasewell Hill School, Cramlington Hillcrest School, The Dales School, Collingwood School & Media Arts College, Atkinson House School, Barndale House School, Hexham Priory School and the Grove Special School) as well as Berwick Middle School and Hexham East First School in respect of their special units.
The consultation follows an independent review of Northumberland’s Special Educational Needs services and provisions carried out last year. A report highlighting the findings of the review and listing several recommendations, including the need for the county council to develop locally available specialist provision, was published in October 2011.
A series of public meetings to provide information and answer questions has been planned at each of the schools affected. (Please see full consultation attached).
Councillor Lesley Rickerby, Northumberland County Council’s executive member for children and young people, said: “This is the beginning of a detailed consultation to decide the best arrangements for Northumberland special schools and special units. We hope that parents, teachers and governors will attend the meetings that are planned as we work through the best ways to move forward.”
More information about the consultation, including details of the public meetings, is available in the consultation document which can be downloaded here.
To respond to the consultation, please complete the response form which can be downloaded here. This should then be returned to us by email or FREEPOST - details on how to do this are on the form itself.
Alternatively, call Helen Griffiths on 01670 624733 to request the consultation document and response form, which can be returned by FREEPOST before 18 December 2012.