Issue details

22/00078 - Special Educational Needs - External Tuition

Proposed decision:

 

(a)  Implement a Modified Dynamic Purchasing System to fulfil the Council’s responsibilities for SEND External Tuition provision – which will meet the needs identified in a child’s Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

 

(b)  Delegate decisions on the establishment of the new arrangements to the Corporate Director for Children, Young People and Education, or other Officer as instructed by the Corporate Director for Children, Young People and Education, in consultation with the Cabinet Member

 

Background:

 

·         Kent County Council currently purchases tuition services from a variety of external suppliers, providing educational support to CYP. These services are currently spot purchased without formal established contracts and specifications, leading to concerns of due diligence of suppliers, inconsistent outcomes, and questionable value for money.  SEND is seeking to secure a range of suitable and experienced providers to deliver Tuition Services for those children of compulsory school age and post 16 who, by reason of exclusion from school or otherwise, will not receive a suitable education without such arrangements.

 

Options:

 

1. Do Nothing

 

·         To do nothing, the spend is non-compliant with the Public Contract Regulations (PCR) 2015.Therefore, the current arrangements limit KCC’s ability to shape and control the market to ensure the right capacity and provision is available. KCC has limited influence over the outcomes of the service and limited contract management tools to improve supplier poor-performance.

                       

2. Establish a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS)

 

·         Implementing a DPS, would have limited disruption to status quo and delivery of current services. The market is complex, with a mixture of size and type of suppliers. These differing categories of supplier could result in a variable appetite for a formal tender process, possibly impacting continuity of supply.

                       

3.  Expand The Education Programme’s capacity to fully meet the service’s needs (maintaining the current offer per student)

 

·         Spend would be compliant with PCR 2015. Internal provision does enable SEND to manage all aspects of provision supporting a CYP and delivering education, incorporating other services as required, such as SEN Therapies.

 

  • Further increasing the scope of The Education Programme would require additional resources and staffing to ensure the needs of CYP are met. There will still be CYP with specific needs that are not covered, such as alternative EoTAS learning and qualifications and post 16, such services can be commissioned as a separate activity.

 

  • The new SLA with The Education Programme has not yet been fully implemented, lessons learnt, and potential risks have not been fully explored. The service will not be at full capacity until January 2023. Moreover, one model of tuition would not meet all the needs of CYP with an EHCP, and the SLA could not meet the current capacity levels required. 

 

4. Recommended Option - Establish Modified Dynamic Purchasing System (MDPS)

 

  • Implementing a Modified Dynamic Purchasing System would enable KCC to stabilise this market and allow better planning for future demand for services.  This option is also preferrable for smaller providers.

 

  • A MDPS framework is to ensure best outcomes for children and young people. SEND do not currently have a preferred provider list and there are no clearly defined contract terms, or specification used to ensure consistent outcomes for CYP.  Additionally, currently there is also no due diligence of providers undertaken ensuring a sufficient Safeguarding Policy, Health and Safety Policy, adequate insurance cover and financial robustness.

 

  • However, moving to a MDPS, will provide stability and sustainability to this market, begin        developing capability with providers and provide a compliant contractual basis for working more closely with providers when planning future requirements

 

Risks:

 

·         The main risk of continuing as we are, is that we are not fully compliant with the Public Contract Regulations 2015.The current arrangements also limit KCC’s ability to shape and control the market to ensure the right capacity and provision is available. KCC has limited influence over the outcomes of the service and limited contract management tools to improve any poor-performance from suppliers.

 

Legal Implications:

 

·         Kent County Council has a statutory responsibility under The Education Act 1996 to provide education for all CYP until the age of 19, or 25 for those with EHC Plans. Associated legislation includes The Children and Families Act 2014, the SEN Code of Practice (2015), the Equality Act 2010 and The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Regulations 2014.

 

·         Continuing with the current arrangements, we will remain non-compliant with PCR 2015.

 

Financial Implications:

 

·      The SEN spend for External Tuition Provision is summarised below:

 

SEN Spend

Financial Year

 

 

 

 

 

2017-2018

2018-2019

2019-2020

2020-2021

2021-2022

External Tuition Spend

£862,000

£924,000

£1,391,000

 £2,244,000

£ 3,054,000

The Education Programme

£141,000

£130,000

£ 157,000

£274,000

£ 206,000

Total

SEND Spend

£1,003,000

£1,054,000

£1,548,000

£2,518,000

£3,260,000

Allocated budget

 

£851,000

£ 851,000

£ 851,000

£ 2,350,000

 

·      These provisions fall under the Special Educational Needs & Psychology Services key service line within Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Division budget, line 65 in the 2021/22 KCC Budget.

 

 

 

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: For Determination

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 15/08/2022

Decision due: Not before 13th Sep 2022 by Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services

Lead director: Mark Walker

Department: Education & Young People's Services

Contact: Christy Holden, Head of Strategic Commissioning, Children and Young People‚Äôs Services Email: Christy.holden@kent.gov.uk (03000 415356).

Consultees

The item will be discussed at the Children’s, Young people and Education cabinet Committee on 13th September 2022.

Financial implications: As above

Legal implications: As above

Equalities implications: Equalities implications: An Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) screening has been completed and has concluded that the proposed decision does not present any adverse equality impact. Data Protection implications: A DPIA is underway and will be completed with a selection of providers once approved to join the MDPS and prior to commencement

Documents