Agenda item

Additional Learning Provision/Specialist Resource Bases


Cabinet Member Martyn Groucutt and Dr Morwenna Wagstaff introduced the report on the outcome of a review of the Specialist Resource Bases and provided an update on progress towards the review’s recommendations prior to answering Members’ questions with Jacquelyn Elias and Hayley Page.


Key Points raised by Members: 


  • The report refers to some inconsistencies across the SRB’s highlighted through the review, so how it is being addressed to ensure learning is applied across SRB’s, avoiding a postcode lottery.  
  • What is the differential between the evaluation that you see in front of you today undertaken by the team and the review undertaken by Estyn? 
  • There’s a concern about rising numbers of young people with additional learning needs requiring complex ALN provision. It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on why there are increasing numbers and what effect that will have on our need to provide for increased need. 
  • Please can you explain how the partnership agreements between the local authority and host schools work and what they aim to achieve. 
  • Please can you expand on the capacity issues for Pembroke Primary School and Monmouth Comprehensive School and the impact on the pupils.  
  • In relation to the improvement needed in provision at a particular school, the Committee sought reassurance that the local authority is working with SRB’s where improvements are expected. The Chief Officer advised that undertaking a self-evaluation allows the local authority to understand any issues that may need to be worked on with schools so that they can be supported. 
  • Can you expand upon the capacity and anticipated demand for the specialist resource bases across the county and the financial implications for the local authority. 
  • How do the SRB leads collaborate to produce a core version of documentation? 
  • There was a query about the wording of the catering arrangement in the report. 
  • What is the impact of COVID-19 on the SRB provision and the support for learners and staff? 
  • What are the transition arrangements for learners moving from SRB to mainstream or post-16 provision? 
  • How involved are parents and carers in the review and the feedback process? 
  • Please explain the alignment of the SRB provision with the ALN reform and the new code of practice. 
  • What are the plans for future development and improvement of the SRB provision? 
  • What is meant by the variability in finances and accountability in the report.  


Chair’s Summary: 


The Chair welcomed the report and praised the work of the SRB team and the schools. He thanked the officers for their presentation and their responses.  He concluded that the report on the review of the specialist resource bases was moved with the recommendations, and that some questions and points raised by the committee members would be addressed in a follow-up report in 12 months. More information is requested on the capacity and affordability of the SRB model, the consistency and quality of the provision, and the Committee seeks reassurance that there are no individual schools with broad and consistent failings.  




The Committee requested further detail on the financial implications of the increasing demand for SRB provision and the low, medium and high scenarios. 


Supporting documents: