SEND consultation: The sufficiency of SEND places in Liverpool

Start date: Monday 21st June 2021
End date: Friday 15th October 2021

What we are consulting on

We recently commissioned SEND4Change to review our provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). As a result of this review, we are consulting on a number of recommendations that were highlighted in the report.

Our aim is to establish an integrated and inclusive school system where children and young people get the right health, care and education in the right place at the right time and attend schools as close as possible to where they live.

Any changes we propose must lead to improvements in the standard, quality and range of educational provision for pupils with SEND. It must also be transparent, objective, cost effective and sustainable.


Liverpool has 12 special schools and some resourced provision in mainstream schools to support children and young people with SEND across the city.

Since 2014 there has been a significant increase in the number of children and young people identified with SEND in Liverpool – higher than the national average. This has led to a greater demand for places at special schools and pressure over pupil numbers.

As a result, many pupils are placed within the independent non-maintained sector – these settings are expensive and often far from the child or young person’s home.

As a local authority, we must legally:

  • provide sufficient school places to meet demand
  • provide fair and appropriate access to education
  • continuously review SEND provision, working with parents, young people and providers.

One of our main priorities is to ensure that education settings are inclusive. Too many children who underachieve, are persistently absent, excluded, attend alternative provision or are electively home educated are children with SEND.

The SEND4Change recommendations and our Education Improvement Plan ensures that those working in and with Liverpool schools – and parents and young people – have a shared understanding of our priorities.


SEND4Change has proposed the following:

  1. Develop generic special schools for complex learning difficulties (CLD/severe learning difficulties (SLD) and post 16 provision.
  2. Develop enhanced resource provision on mainstream school sites.
  3. Reconfigure social emotional mental health (SEMH) provision and arrangements.
  4. Strategic leadership and commissioning of SEN.

Each proposal above includes sub-recommendations and we would like to hear your views for each option.

You can read the SEND4Change report in full or read the options for each recommendation as part of the consultation exercise.

How to respond

Anyone can comment, but we would like to hear from parents and particularly young people with SEND and their families. We would also like to hear from schools and professionals.

Complete the consultation online. The closing date for comments is Friday 15th October 2021.

Survey aimed at parents, families and young people with SEND

Survey aimed at schools and professionals

Open meetings for parents and professionals

We will be holding a number of open meetings for parents and professionals on the following dates.

  • 15th July 6-8pm - via LivPac
  • 5th August 1-3pm - for all stakeholders via LCC
  • 26th August 6-8pm for all stakeholders via LCC
  • 8th September 10am-12pm - via LivPac

These meetings will be held virtually. For more details on the above events or any other questions regarding the consultation, please email the Strategic Lead for SEND: 

What happens next?

We will use your comments and feedback to shape how we proceed with our long-term strategic vision for SEND provision. 

All responses will be considered and used to inform the development of plans for Local Provision. The decisions will be made using formal council processes and meetings or delegated authority in circumstances where this may be appropriate.

The full outcome will be shared and feedback will be made available online.