Decision details

Improving Special School Provision on Wirral for Children and Young People who Experience Complex Learning Difficulties - The Feasibility of Creating a 2-19 Special School for Children and Young People who Experience Profound and Multiple Learning Di

Decision Maker: Cabinet,

Decision status: Awaiting Implementation

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The Director of Children’s Services reported that in April 2009 (minute 467 refers) Cabinet, amongst other decisions, had given approval for a feasibility study to be undertaken into the possible creation of a 2-19 special school for children and young people with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD). This had now been completed and the main findings were as follows:


The study had identified that there were currently 54 children and young people, in the age range 2-19, on Wirral, who might benefit from such a provision. This was in line with national incidence rates.


Whilst the proposal received strong support from parents of children, who attended The Lyndale School, there was little if any support from parents whose children attended the authority’s other special schools for complex learning difficulties (CLD).


Given this lack of broad support and the fact that the authority was planning to significantly improve the provision it made for PMLD children in all its CLD schools it would make the creation of a 2-19 school for PMLD a high risk option, which would be highly unlikely to represent value for money.


With the permission of the Chair, Mrs Deveraux-Roberts addressed the Cabinet and outlined her experiences as a mother of two children with PMLD.


The Head of Participation and Inclusion, Peter Edmondson, informed the Cabinet that both Foxfield and Meadowside Schools had received very good reports and that he was not aware of any concerns regarding school safeguarding arrangements. He would be happy to provide a note to Cabinet members on these issues.


Peter Edmondson acknowledged that the report had been subject to some unfortunate delays having taken longer than was expected to reach the Cabinet. The department had engaged with parents of special schools over a long period of time and the Director confirmed that funding would continue to support Lyndale school for as long as it existed.


The Director also went on to say that it was a cause of great joy that young people with PMLD were now able to thrive and live longer than in the past. Advances in medical science had enabled children to live into adulthood who would not previously have done so and the department had to try and respond to their needs.


The Deputy Leader suggested that there was now a need for a piece of work on provision for 12-19 year olds with PMLD.


A report and handout from the governors, staff and parents of children attending Lyndale School was also circulated to the Cabinet for their consideration.


Resolved – That,


(1) Cabinet accepts the outcomes of the feasibility study, and the advice of the Director of Children’s Services that there is no case to be made for the creation of a 2-19 school for pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties;


(2) the Lyndale School continues to operate as primary school for children with complex learning difficulties.

Report author: Director of Children's Services

Publication date: 02/07/2010

Date of decision: 24/06/2010

Decided at meeting: 24/06/2010 - Cabinet

Effective from: 10/07/2010

Accompanying Documents: