|Name||Shirley Murphy, Mark Davies, and Gill Davies|
|Meeting Title:||Meeting to discuss CPCF representations on recently divulged Cumbria CC policy to restrict SEND students to 3 days a week at further education colleges|
|Meeting was held with:||John Macilwraith (Corporate Director – Children and Families Services, Cumbria County Council), and Shirley Murphy, Mark Davies and Gill Davies (CPCF)|
|Meeting took place at:||Cumbria House, Botchergate, Carlisle|
|Date of Meeting:||15th March 2018|
Matters discussed in the meeting:
The meeting related to Cumbria Council's decision in 2017 whereby students with SEND would have 540 hours a year education when in the various FE colleges in Cumbria, including Beaumont College, which is 3 days per week, with additional days (if assessed as being necessary) being provided by non-educational settings and supported by Adult Social Care. CPCF believes this decision does not take into account all relevant parts of the SEND Statutory Guidance set by central government, which the local authority must comply with, and CPCF have asked Cumbria Council to reconsider this policy.
Outcome of the meeting and/or actions proposed:
Mr Macilwraith has previously been given the representations dated 18th December 2017 prepared by CPCF which explain in detail why this Council policy does not comply with statutory guidance and Mr Macilwraith has also received a copy of the open letter CPCF wrote to Cumbria Council on 22nd February 2018 on this policy. A further list of questions was handed to Mr Macilwraith at this meeting, asking for information and specific responses from the Council. CPCF also wish to note these documents also query that Cumbria Council did not consult CPCF with regards to this policy, and asserted the need and manner for such consultations.
Mr Macilwraith agreed to re-consider the policy and agreed CPCF should have been consulted prior to the policy being confirmed, and discussed ways in which better communication between the Council and CPCF can be implemented. Mr Macilwraith confirmed he would endeavour to reply in writing and give his findings by 29th March 2018.
Cumbria Parent Carers Forum
Registered Charity number 1175734
NOTES AND QUESTIONS FOR CPCF MEETING WITH JOHN MACILWRAITH ON 15TH MARCH 2018
- How many students at FE either first or second year due as at September 2018?
- Has each of these students been assessed on an individual basis to determine whether they need more than 3 days per week at FE?
- How many students have been assessed as needing only 3 days FE, how many for 4 days and how many for 5 days?
- Does the Council accept there should not be a blanket policy stating SEND students have 3 days at FE?
- Does the Council accept each student should be assessed individually?
- Will the Council confirm to CFCP in writing that this is so?
- What will happen to all those students who have EHCPs which state 5 days pw at FE but have been sent letters saying as from September 2018 they will only have 3 days pw at FE?
- Does the Council agree it was not in accordance with the SEND Guide to amend the EHCP provision without a review?
- The Council suggested in Mr Barton's letter of 14th February that other activities should come from Adult Social Services, whereas the DfE states in their Funding Guidance for Young People (Annex B), which does apply to SEND students at FE, that the ESFA does fund "non qualification hours" type activities that are provided by FE colleges (eg independent living skills, work experience and voluntary or community work) but not by other providers (such as Adult Social Services).
- CPCF cannot concern itself as to where funding comes from or which Council department deals with meeting SEND young people's needs; but CPCF does concern itself where the Council does not have a joined up policy between those departments in meeting those needs.
- With regards to students who are not awarded 5 days at FE, will the Council take the lead in arranging other suitable activities for those students?
- If not, has the Council taken into account the needs of the parents (see SEND Guide para 3.57 "5 day offer")?
- Will those other suitable activities outside of FE be those as listed in paragraph 8.40 of the SEND Guide such as volunteering, work experience and development of skills for transition to adulthood and development of friendships?
- Will the Council ensure the details of such provision contained within a package under paragraph 8.39 of the SEND Guide, including hours, are shown in section F of EHCPs?
- Will the Council give CPCF assurances as to consultation strictly in accordance with CPCF's request in our representations given to Dan Barton on 18th December? The wording is:
Cumbria Council must give assurances to CPCF that the council will no longer make or review relevant strategic decisions without consulting with CPCF, and that prior to any meetings, properly referenced and evidenced rationale for any LA proposals will be provided to CPCF, in order to enable CPCF to carry out their function in the consultation, with sufficient time allowed and resources provided to CPCF to survey and consult with parents as necessary.
- If not, please specify exactly what assurances the Council will give to CPCF as to consultations, and whether there will be any safeguards or not?
- Will the Council seek to consult with students as to their wishes and views?