Placement Process and Timescales for Specialist Provision
The following information explains the current process in Sunderland for accessing specialist learning provision post 16/19. This is only a guide to the process and does not replace the Young People's Learning Agency’s Placement Information: Learners with Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities at Independent Specialist Providers. It is written for young people, their parents or carers.
Why do we need this process?
When most young people reach the end of Year 11 in school they move into one of the following options:
- school sixth form or Tertiary Department
- local college
- local training provider
- a job.
Who can access this process?
Young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD) looking towards suitable post-school options, young people particularly those who have been identified as possibly requiring access to specialist college provision, should with support from their parent or carer, work with their Lead Professional Adviser.
In the first instance, the young person will need to look at the most appropriate mainstream local provision at school, college or other learning providers to see if they could meet the young person’s requirements. The learning provider would expect to receive an application including sight of reports from Educational Psychologist, Doctor(s), Social Care Services, a current SEN review and School Report. The learning provider may also require possible access to the young person to discuss their education and support needs, during the summer term of the penultimate school year i.e. year 10 or 13 to be able to give a comprehensive assessment report of the learner.
The local mainstream learning provider may be able to meet all of the young person’s needs, sometimes they may only be able to meet part of the learner’s needs, whereby an additional package of support could be put in place to meet all of the learner’s needs. Where this is the case, the young person will be offered a placement at a local mainstream provider, with funding for additional learning, health and care support as appropriate. If a local provider has advised that they can meet the young person’s needs, then funding for specialist college provision cannot be pursued.
If a local mainstream provider is not able to meet the young person’s needs, the young person will need to work closely with their Lead Professional Adviser to access the placement process for specialist provision. You will only be able to start this part of the process if you have the relevant evidence from the most appropriate local mainstream provider.
In all cases the local mainstream learning provider will provide an assessment report which will outline why they can or can not meet the young person’s needs.
What information is needed about the young person?
The Lead Professional Adviser will need to collect:
- a relevant and up-to-date report from a local mainstream learning provider who has assessed the young person and has concluded they can put in place an appropriate package of high level additional support to meet the young person's education and training needs; or
- a relevant and up-to-date report from the most appropriate mainstream learning provider who has assessed the young person and has concluded they cannot put in place an appropriate package of support to meet the young person's education and training needs; and
- a report from an independent specialist provider detailing how they can meet the young person's assessed educational and training needs set out in the 139a Assessment (Learning Difficulty Assessment) ; plus
- 139a Assessment (Learning Difficulty Assessment)
- the young person's most recent statement of special educational needs (where applicable);
- the young person's most recent school report and transition plan or an up to date assessment of the young persons academic level and support requirements;
- a relevant and up-to-date social care report (if appropriate);
- a relevant and up-to-date medical and psychological report (as appropriate);
- a signed form (by the young person or parent/carer) giving consent to share relevant information.
Other evidence may be included as appropriate. All evidence must be less than 12 months old. If you do not agree to the appropriate assessments or to share the relevant information, you will not be able to access this process.
Requests for residential provision will only be considered through an appropriate referral from a Care Manager and in line with the Fair Access to Care criteria.
The application to an Independent Specialist Provider would be made in the first term of the learner’s final year at school i.e. year 11 or 14.
What will happen to the information?
The Lead Professional Adviser will collect all the relevant information/evidence and forward it to the Multi-agency Placement Panel Co-ordinator. All applications should be submitted by the end of March of the learner’s final year at school i.e. year 11 or 14.
The information/evidence will be checked to ensure it is complete and presented to the Multi-Agency Placement Panel which consists of representatives from Children’s Disability Services, Health, Housing and Adult Services, Connexions, Transport, Futures Team, Special Educational Needs Team.
Applications will only be accepted where all the documentation is presented, should an application be received without all the evidence required the file will be returned to the relevant Lead Professional Adviser with a letter sent to the parents/carers informing them of the delay.
How will a decision be made?
The Multi-Agency Placement Panel will review the information/evidence and make the decision if and how the placement will be funded. Funding for the young person's education, independent living skills, care, residential accommodation and therapy may be provided by different agencies. If funding is agreed it will be for one year initially.
Decisions will be made as quickly as possible to ensure that each of the learners and their parents/carers are informed as early as possible of the outcome of the panel’s decision.
The Young People’s Learning Agency in the North East holds the funding for young people's educational needs on behalf of the Council and will need to give final financial approval for the Panel’s decision.
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