Dear Parents and Carers
We are very pleased to inform you of our plans for further educational development at Strood Academy.
In partnership with Medway Council, we would like to establish a Specialist Resource Provision (SRP) for students with Autism. It is proposed that the SRP would support 5 students initially, growing to 25 students over time ranging from Year 7 – 13. It is intended that the provision will be in place from September 2022 starting with the first 5 students in Year 7.
All students at the provision will have an Education and Health Care Plan and their primary need will have been assessed as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Development of this provision is in conjunction with Medway Council as part of its Strategy for children with SEN and Disabilities (SEND).
As part of the Trust’s and Strood Academy’s fully inclusive ethos, we believe that the SRP will be of great value to all students in the school. By including children with ASD, other students will learn to appreciate the needs of others in a tolerant and caring community. Additional funding will be provided to enable us to ensure that students receive this additional support, which will also bring additional specialist teachers into the academy to support students within the SRP but also the wider student population.
The Academy will be supported by other academies within the Leigh Academies Trust that have a specialist SRP provision to ensure the very best outcomes for students.
We hope the following questions and answers will explain, in more detail, what creating the SRP will mean.
What is Strood Academy being asked to do?
We are being asked to consider establishing an SRP for students with ASD. The school is confident that its staff has the relevant expertise and skills to meet the needs of these children, however additional training for staff will also be organised by the academy and we will also look to recruit specialist teaching and learning assistants with the additional funding provided by Medway. The SRP will provide specialist support to students with HI, minimising their separation from their peers.
What is an SRP?
There are a number of local authority and academy mainstream schools both in Primary and Secondary level in Medway who have additional specialist resource provision (SRP) to provide support for children and young people. Without specialist input, students would be unlikely to make progress in their learning and will struggle to take part in mainstream school life. Many children and young people with additional learning needs can make better, more sustained progress when they attend mainstream school. A small number of children with Education, Health and Care Plans, require higher levels of support that would normally be provided by a mainstream school, but with a high level of specialist support, students could be successfully included and make good progress alongside their peers. For these students Medway maintains a range of Specialist Resource Provisions (SRP) which are located within mainstream schools.
To be considered for SRP the child or young person must first have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). Specialist Resource Provisions are usually led by a Lead Teacher who is a specialist in the SEN need type of the SRP. This means that they have or are studying a degree level qualification. SRP support staff will also have enhanced and specialist levels of training. The SRP includes additional support staff who are teaching assistants with additional knowledge and skills in the need type of the SRP who will support students both in the SRP base and also when the students are working in mainstream.
All SRPs have a base such as a classroom or dedicated area for students where they can receive specialist teaching for some subjects or receive SEN interventions (small group teaching). Some children may also receive speech and language therapy or occupational therapy individually or small group interventions. When children and young people are going through the Education and Health Care assessment there will be evidence that, without a high level of specialist support, they would find it difficult or not be able to participate in activities, including learning, alongside their peers in a mainstream school. In time and with support, it is expected that children and young people will be able to attend most of their mainstream lessons and take part successfully in activities in the school.
Will this mean fewer places for local children?
No. Students in the SRP will be admitted over the current Published Admission Number (PAN) and therefore no places will be lost.
When will the SRP open?
It is intended that the academy will accept students for September 2022 by adapting current space within the academy to accommodate the requirements, with a capital build project following to accommodate the students from 2023.
What happens next?
Following the consultation, all comments and views received will be considered before the Academy Trust and Governing Body who will make a final decision. If they decide to proceed a business case will be submitted to the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) seeking approval from the Secretary of State.
We would like your views on this proposal to create a SRP within Strood Academy. You can have your say by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org entitling your email ‘Strood SRP Consultation’. We would welcome any points that you would like to raise in relation to this proposal by noon on the 24th April 2022.