This consultation has concluded

SEND Sufficiency Strategy

This consultation closed on 28 February 2023

Consultation Details

This consultation has concluded

Have your say

Nottingham City Council is holding a public consultation on how it plans to strengthen education and provide additional school places for children and young people with special educational needs/disabilities (SEND) in Nottingham over the coming years, using the SEND Sufficiency Strategy 2023-2028.

The Council, our partners and providers, want children and young people with SEND to achieve their full potential in education, learning and future employment. We propose to invest capital funding received from the Department for Education (DfE), to create additional high quality inclusive places and to improve existing provision for children and young people with complex needs or who have an education, health and care plan (EHCP). The funding can also be used to support SEND pupils without an EHCP and pupils who require alternative provision without an EHCP, where appropriate.


As is the case nationally, in Nottingham we are experiencing considerable growth in the number of young people with SEND and at the current time, virtually all places in special schools and Specialist Resourced Provisions within mainstream school (SRPs) are full.

Further capital investment is required that develops the SEND estate and creates more capacity within our education system, so we can continue to meet children and young people’s needs effectively and as locally as possible. We are committed to supporting our schools and settings within the city as we believe that local provision offers the best outcomes for our children and young people. The Children and Families Act 2014 requires that children and young people with SEND wherever possible should be taught in a mainstream school, within their local community.

What do we understand from our data?

  • There has been a 50% increase in pupils in mainstream schools who receive additional funding to support their special educational need or disability.
  • There has been a 60% increase in pupils with Autism.
  • The number of pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties remain small but are growing.
  • Permanent exclusions of children with Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs remain high within the City.

How the funding can be used

We can invest our capital allocation in:

  • Creating new or additional places at good or outstanding provision
  • Improving existing facilities or developing new facilities

This can be through:

  • Expansion of existing provision at the same site or a different site
  • Reconfiguring provision to make available the space for the additional places or facilities
  • Re-purposing areas so that they meet the needs of pupils with SEND
  • Investment in accessibility to improve access to existing provision
  • Other capital investments that result in additional places or improvements to facilities

What are we planning to do?

We plan to build on the special school expansions and additional Specialist Resourced Provisions within mainstream school, which have already been delivered in recent years.  Further increases to capacity are required to meet growing demand, increase local provision, choice and progression. We plan to:

  • Enhance facilities in mainstream schools to ensure that young people with SEND have the best environment and resources to meet their needs, close to home within their local community.
  • Create additional Specialist Resourced Provisions within mainstream schools, which will mean that children and young people with SEND can be taught in the specialist provision for some of the time each week and attend mainstream lessons at other times.
  • Develop additional special school places for young people whose complex learning needs can best be met in special schools.
  • Target increased provision in areas of the city where pressures exist.
  • Alongside the Sufficiency Strategy, develop a “local inclusion plan”, clearly communicating to providers and parents/carers about the provision that is available in the local area, including within mainstream, specialist and Alternative Provision.
  • Undertake a sufficiency and commissioning review of Alternative Provision, including support available for children with Social Emotional and Mental Health needs in mainstream schools. This is to ensure there is sufficient, high quality provision available to meet the needs of children who have been permanently excluded, are at risk of exclusion or who require provision additional to and different from mainstream provision.

Options appraisal and feasibility investigations will need to be completed, to establish the viability of any projects and to ensure the most appropriate and cost-effective solutions to providing local education for children.

Key strategic SEND capital priorities

To increase capacity we have outlined the priorities to meet the increasing need for places:

Priority 1

Create additional specialist capacity in the mainstream primary phase, to meet the needs of primary aged pupils with Autism and moderate learning difficulties in Key Stages 1 and 2. 

Priority 2

Create additional specialist capacity in the mainstream secondary phase, to meet the needs of secondary aged pupils with Autism and moderate learning difficulties in Key Stages 3 and 4.

Priority 3

Create additional special school capacity to meet the needs of pupils with complex needs, primarily Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Why are we doing this?

  • To ensure that all mainstream schools are able to make the best possible provision for children and young people with SEND in their community.
  • To provide a graduated range of support for children and young people with SEND from mainstream, mainstream with support from a Specialist Resourced Provision and special school provision.
  • To ensure there are sufficient special school places for children and young people with SEND in Nottingham City.
  • To ensure that families have more choice in the school options available to their child(ren) close to home.

The detailed draft SEND Sufficiency Strategy 2023-2028 can be viewed by clicking here, it includes the data and analysis used to develop it.

Why your views matter

We are particularly interested in feedback from parents, carers, young people, as well as schools, settings, local providers and other stakeholders. This is your opportunity to tell us what you think about the SEND capital priorities outlined above and the broadly proposed schemes you can view by clicking here.

You can ask any questions and help shape proposals by giving your ideas and comments in one of the following ways:

The consultation is open from 25th January to 28th February 2023.

If you require a paper copy, Large Print or Braille of the proposal information or survey, or help with translation, please can you email us on

After the period of consultation we will publish all the feedback in a consultation outcome report, followed by a plan showing how we intend to invest our allocated funding.