Issue details

23/00128 - Specialist Resource Provision Contracts & Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Proposed decision: 


a)    To enter into new contracts and service level agreements (SLA) with mainstream primary and secondary schools that provide Specialist Resource Provisions (SRPs)


b)    Authorise the Director for Education and Special Educational Needs to enter into these contracts and SLAs on behalf of Kent County Council, attached as appendices A and B; and


c)    Authorise the Director for Education and Special Educational Needs to be the nominated Local Authority Representative within the relevant agreements and to enter into variations as envisaged under any of these contracts and SLAs.



Reason for the decision and background:


Contracts and SLAs have been in place for all SRP holding schools in Kent for a significant number of years. The purpose of the contracts and SLAs is to ensure that pupils with SEN receive an excellent education in an inclusive environment and are able to access specialist facilities and/or expertise which enables them to make progress. The contracts and SLAs that were in place are now due to be renewed.


A review of the standard SRP contract and SLA was carried out from January 2023 through to April 2023. The aim was to strengthen the governance arrangements and to ensure consistency between the two documents.


Legal advisors were commissioned to provide advice and update the contract and SLA. Following finalisation of these documents, in line with the legal advice provided, the updated, unsigned contract and SLA were issued to all SRP holding schools. The updated contract and SLA term is 3 academic years to 30 August 2026.


This decision will allow them to be signed and sealed.



Alternatives considered:


The alternative to putting a new contract/SLA in place is to proceed without one.  Legally, existing SRPs are part of the mainstream schools that host them, and their funding is covered by the LA’s approved funding arrangements. These provisions can continue. New provisions can be created, via the process set out above. However, this option has been rejected. The purpose and value of the contract/SLA is to set out clear expectations, and secure robust monitoring and accountability mechanisms. These are important aspects of the LA’s work, and essential in our SEND improvement journey.



Decision type: Key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 03/01/2024

Decision due: Not before 1st Feb 2024 by Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Reason: To allow 28 day notice period required under Exeuctive Decision regulations

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Lead director: Christine McInnes

Department: Education & Young People's Services

Contact: Roger Silk, Gifted & Talented Adviser Email: Email: Tel: 01233 898693.

Consultation process

The Children’s and Young People Cabinet Committee considered and endorsed the decision on 16 January 2024.



Public consultation undertaken or planned:

A review of SRPs was carried out from January 2023 to April 2023, this review was focussed on the previous contract and SLA. The review aimed to ensure consistency across both agreements and to strengthen the monitoring and governance arrangements. The review was carried out in partnership with a representative selection of Headteachers from schools who currently provide an SRP.


Cabinet Committee:


The proposed decision will be considered at the Children’s, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee on 16 January 2024.

Financial implications: The number of places that are commissioned in each SRP are agreed annually, therefore, the annual cost of SRP places is subject to variation. The total cost of commissioned places may also change each year due to new SRPs being established or where additional places in SRPs are spot purchased resulting in an overall increase in places. SRP places are funded in accordance with the relevant guidance (for example High Needs Funding Arrangements 2024 - 2025 ) from the Department for Education (DfE) which are subject to change. Kent County Council produce annual School Budget Guidance each financial year which sets out how SRP places are funded by the Local Authority.

Legal implications: Initial drafts of the updated SRP contract and SLA were reviewed by external legal advisors who provided the advice required and finalised both documents.

Equalities implications: The Review of the SRPs was set up as a project under the Council’s wider SEND Transformation Programme and forms part of the ongoing work under the Safety Valve. An EQIA has been completed for this programme which concluded that there is no potential for discrimination and all appropriate measures have been taken to advance equality and foster good relations between the protected groups.