Agenda item - Public Involvement

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Agenda item

Public Involvement

To consider the following matters raised by members of the public:


(a)     Petitions: to receive any petitions presented to the full council or at the meeting itself;


(i)            Provide Autism Education in Brighton and Hove


(b)     Written Questions: to receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 12th June, 2018;


(c)     Deputations: to receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 12th June, 2018.


(i)         Provide Autism Education in Brighton and Hove


6.1       The Committee considered an online petition signed by 824 people, the Chair invited Ms Terri Oatley to present the petition.


6.2       The chair provided the following response:


We understand that autism is a complex disorder than can lead to great difficulties for children in coping with school. While the City has a good reputation for providing for children and young people  with special educational needs and disabilities, we know there is much to be done to ensure all of our children get the right provision to meet their needs. We want to assure families that we are listening carefully to their experiences and concerns in planning provision for the future.  


We have a strong training offer for our schools in the area of autism and 10 of our schools now have achieved the  ‘Autism Aware’ accreditation but we know we need to do more and are increasing our resource for training and support in this area.


In terms of the specific request in the petition to open a new school for children with autism,  as you know Local Authorities are no longer legally able to open new schools. All new schools must now be Free Schools or Academies.  


However we are committed to opening a new secondary special unit within a mainstream school with 20 places for children with autism to complement our two existing secondary special units for autism  at BACA and Hove Park Schools and our primary unit at West Blatchington School. We are currently in negotiation with the National Autistic Society about a partnership to create this new unit which we hope to open in September 2019. Our new special school hub provision also offers highly specialist places for children with autism.


At the next Children, Young People and Skills Committee in the September, there will be a report on the City’s plan for developing further our services and provision for children and young people with autism. We are committed to co-production with families and all parent representatives are invited to develop plans and provision with us”.



6.3       RESOLVED – that the petition be noted.

Supporting documents:


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