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We know there is a need to create more provision in Hertfordshire so that our children and young people can be educated within their own communities. Here's how we have been working to address that need.

Development of specialist resource provision (SRP)

Children and young people with developmental language disorder and severe motor speech disorders are currently provided for by a pattern of SLCN bases attached to mainstream schools.

We have identified an increasing number of pupils with speech, language and communication needs who have a broader and more complex level of need, including autism and social communication difficulties. Often these young people end up in special school, when they should have been better supported to access a mainstream curriculum instead. These pupils need access to mainstream curriculum, balanced with a safe space to be in, where work can be done to support self-regulation and emotional wellbeing.

Children and young people with developmental language disorder and severe motor speech disorders continue to need access to the mainstream curriculum, delivered in a linguistically modified and visually supported environment.

This has led to our proposal to develop SRPs for the children and young people with social communication difficulties in addition to the children and young people with speech and language disorders, as part of the continuation of provision for children and young people with:

  • developmental language disorder and / or a severe motor speech disorder (developmental verbal dyspraxia)
  • social communication and social interaction difficulty who may acquire a diagnosis of autism

Access to provision will be needs-led, with a robust multi-disciplinary team overseeing admissions to ensure early intervention.  Access for children and young people with social communication difficulties will not be reliant on a medical diagnosis of autism. Children with developmental language disorder and severe motor speech disorders, however, will be identified by a speech and language therapy lead clinician, ahead of being recommended to the admissions panel. 

When will the SRPs be ready?

We are proposing the development of:

  • 4 SRPs in secondary schools, each for up to 20 pupils (3 by Sep 2022, 1 by Sep 2023)
  • 8 SRPs in primary schools, each for up to 12 pupils (to open by 2023)

This new proposal will provide a total of 176 places distributed equally across the county.

Consultation is now closed on Phase 1 of the SRP strategy:

  • The Priory school, Hitchin (to be implemented Sep 2022)
  • New Avanti Schools Trust school, Bishops Stortford (to be implemented Sep 2023)
  • Longdean school, Hemel Hempstead (this school currently operates a speech, language and communication base, to be changed to a SRP in Sep 2022)
  • Bushey Meads school, Bushey (to be implemented Sep 2022)

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