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Special Provision Capital Fund

Special Provision Capital Fund

The Government has committed £265 million of capital funding to help local authorities create new school places and improve existing facilities for children and young people with SEN and disabilities, in consultation with parents and providers.

Local authorities have been advised that they can invest their share of the special provision capital fund in:

  • Creating new (additional) places at good or outstanding provision
  • Improving facilities or developing new facilities
  • This can be through:
  • Expansion(s) to existing provision including at the same site or at 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 special educational needs and disabilities.
  • Other capital transactions that result in new (additional) places or facilities’ improvements
  • Investing in provision that is located in another local authority where this supports providing good outcomes for children in their area.

Local authorities will need to:

  • Consult with parents and carers
  • Consult with schools, FE colleges and other institutions which offer special educational provision
  • Publish a short plan on The Local Offer website

Liverpool’s total allocation over three years (2018 – 2021) is £2,620,268.00.  This comprises of £514,482 each year for four years, plus £358,941 top up allocation, announced in May 2018 and £717,882 announced in December2018.


Part 1 - Liverpool plan to make an initial allocation of £387,000 on a needs led basis as follows:

Name of Provision

Primary Purpose


Clifford Holroyd Special School (SEMH)

Increase pupil places


Millstead Special School (SLD)

Increase pupil places


Princes Special School at  (SLD)

Increase pupil places


All Saints RC Primary School (Resourced Provision for SLD)

To re-purpose an area to meet the needs of pupils with SEN & Disabilities


Smithdown Community Primary School

To improve facilities


St Michael's in the Hamlet Primary School, Neilson Road, Liverpool L17 7BA (Enhanced Resource Provision)

Sound Proofing of classroom used for enhance provision given its proximity to the nursery school.


Phoenix Primary, Birchfield Road, Liverpool L7 9LY (Enhanced Resource Provision)

Convert existing sensory room to soft play room and remodel existing soft play room into a classroom with toilet provisions and fixtures and fittings.






Clifford Holroyd Special School:  The investment will create 10 additional places for pupils with a primary need of Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH).  The need to create additional places is primarily as a result of the closure of Clarence High School, which formed part of the Nugent House School and Care Homes.  The Trustees made the decision to close the school in April 2018 due to ongoing financial pressures within the school and the age and condition of the estate.  This school has an Ofsted grade of ‘Good.’

Millstead and Princes Special Schools: The investment will create 10 additional places for pupils with a primary need of Severe Learning Difficulties.  Liverpool has continued to experience a higher than average increase in the need for children with SLD and complex health needs.  Both schools have Ofsted grades of ‘Outstanding.’

All Saints RC Primary School:  The investment will improve facilities by creating a bespoke area for children with SLD who are placed at the school by the local authority.  This is part of a larger scheme of works focused on the re-organisation of the school years provision which is funded by the Catholic Archdiocese. This school has an Ofsted grade of ‘Outstanding.’

Smithdown Community Primary School:  The investment will improve facilities by funding the installation of a lift.  This is a contribution to a larger scheme that will enable the school to support children with special education needs.  This school has an Ofsted grade of ‘Good.’

St Michael’s in the Hamlet Primary School: The investment will enable the school to use one of their classrooms as a discrete class for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities whose needs cannot be met within the normal mainstream classroom environment.  Due to the proximity of the identified classroom to the school nursery, soundproofing of the room is required in order to provide a suitable learning environment.  This school has an Ofsted grade of ‘Good’.

Phoenix Primary School: The investment will enable the required refurbishments of existing provision within the school in order to meet the needs of children with complex needs.  The school has a long-standing resourced provision but in order to develop discrete provision within the school, it is necessary to extend and refurbish the accommodation.  This school has an Ofsted grade of ‘Good’.

Consultation: A specific review of existing resourced provision informed the decision to use an element of the grant to reconfigure existing provision and develop an enhanced resourced provision model.   Further to this in January 2019 Liverpool City Council (LCC) initiated an extensive review of its arrangements for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and or Disability (SEND), and those young people with Social Emotional and Mental Health Needs (SEMH). The City Council commissioned an external independent organisation, SEND4Change, to facilitate the review.  The review supports the implementation of the recently published Special Educational Needs Partnership Strategy 2019 -2022 which sets out the partnership’s priorities for ensuring that Liverpool is a child friendly city that improves services and outcomes for children and young people and adults with SEND in Liverpool.

The purpose of the review was to conduct a high needs strategic planning review and produce a development plan to enable Liverpool City Council to fulfil its duties under the Children and Families Act (2014).

The review had a number of objectives

  • To undertake a comprehensive review of existing educational provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND).
  • To ensure sufficient educational places for all children and young people aged 0-25 with SEND.
  • To enable best use of the high needs budget.

The government has committed £23 million to support its priority to ensure that there are sufficient school places for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in England.  The Children and Families Act (2014) requires local authorities to keep the provision for children and young people with SEND under review (including its sufficiency), working with parents, young people, and providers.   The Act is clear that, when considering any reorganisation of provision, decision makers must be clear how they are satisfied that the proposed alternative arrangements will lead to improvements in the standard, quality and/or range of educational provision for children with SEND.


The Review Process

The review followed an agreed process which included:

  • An analysis  of Liverpool’s demographics and SEN data
  • Research and consideration of local and national practice
  • Face to face conversations with an range of  stakeholder and interest groups
  • A series of meetings of four focus groups
  • Development of outcomes and handover of recommendations to the Chairs of each Focus Group.
  • Ratification of the recommended outcomes by the SEND Partnership Board
  • The establishment of delivery implementation groups.

In addition to the four focus groups, a number of additional meetings took place between SEND4Change and stakeholders. These included:

  • Liverpool Parent Carer Forum
  • SEND managers in education, health and care
  • Service providers
  • The Association of Secondary Heads
  • The Association of Primary Heads
  • The Association Special School Heads
  • Liverpool Governors
  • SENCOs
  • Elected Member


Approximately 500 people were directly involved in discussions at some point during the course of the review.  


For a list of planned capital programmes, please refer to the spreadsheet (under downloads).  Further plans will be developed as informed by the implementation of the recommendations of the review, as led by three implementation groups, all of which have parental representation via Liverpool’s Parent Carers Forum.

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