Agenda item

Proposed Changes to Enhanced Resource Provision Units Supporting Children with Hearing Impairments

(To receive a report which is due to be considered by the Executive Councillor for Adult Care, Health and Children's Services for decision on 2 February 2018.  The views of the Scrutiny Committee will be reported to the Executive Councillor, as part of her consideration of the recommendation.

Please note that Appendix C to this report contains exempt information under Paragraph 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, and discussion of this information could result in the exclusion of the press and public)


Consideration was given to a report which invited the Committee to comment on the report entitled 'Proposed Changes to Enhanced Resource Provision Units Supporting Children with Hearing Impairments' which was due to be considered by the Executive Councillor for Adult Care, Health and Children's Services for decision on 2 February 2018.


Members were advised that Children's Services had undertaken a comprehensive review of the provision of support to children with hearing impairments who were currently supported through an Enhanced Resource Provision (ERP) unit.  There were four units across Lincolnshire, two primary and two secondary and each unit was attached to a school and specialist teaching support was provided through the Sensory Education Support Team.  It was reported that children only spend part of their time in the unit, receiving targeted support, with the remaining time the child was educated and supported within a mainstream class setting.


It was reported that a public consultation had been undertaken in October/November 2017 which presented four options for future provision of the service.  Members were informed that feedback had been received from 15 individuals, which had been considered in making the proposed recommendation.


The Committee was advised that it was recommended that the Executive Councillor approve Option 4 as set out in the report which was to decommission the four Enhanced Resource Provision units as from 29 March 2018 (end of Spring Term), removing the provision from the Council's Local Offer, and to support children in mainstream school settings.


Members were provided with the opportunity to ask questions to the officers present in relation to the information contained within the report and some of the points raised during discussion included the following:

·         It was queried what the impact on those children currently in ERP units would be and members were assured that there would be very little impact as they would be staying in the school and be supported by a specialist teacher outside of the classroom.  They would receive the same level of support, and the teachers would still be available to the school, but they would not be within a dedicated unit all the time, but come in at allocated times.

·         Members felt confident that Option 4 was the right decision, after seeing the responses to the consultation from parents.

·         There would be time to support children to get used to the change.

·         It was emphasised that this was not about cost savings.

·         Members were encouraged by the level of consultation which had been carried out.

·         It was commented that this was vital for other children so that they got used to being around people with different needs and promoted a community that was inclusive where everyone was working together.




1.    That the Committee support the recommendation to the Executive Councillor as set out in the report.

2.    That the following comment be passed to the Executive Councillor in relation the report:

·         On 19 January 2018, the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee considered this report, and noted that Appendix C to this report provided the detail as requested at its October meeting.  The Committee agreed to support the recommendations in this report.  The Committee has noted that its questions and comments at the October meeting had been addressed by the consultation and would like to put on record its gratitude for the care and attention to detail, which formed part of the overall consultation process.  

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