Tender process underway for Early Years Inclusion hubs

Dudley Council has launched a tender process to provide five education hubs for early years children with special educational needs across the borough.

The local authority has pledged to support nursery aged children who have higher support needs by establishing a more locally based model.

Starting from this September, the hubs will enable a more accessible offer of local provision within the community. The hubs will offer personalised, targeted and specialist interventions for children and families.

The network of hubs will have staffing capacity that meets the needs of children with special educational needs and with a personalised curriculum for children. It will enable more children with additional needs to access more support and provision in their local community. Sal Thirlway, service director of education, SEND and family solutions at Dudley Council, said:

"In line with Dudley’s vision for children, we are working towards a locality-based approach where children with identified needs can access support in their local community school setting.

"This week we have launched a robust and detailed tender process, that looks to find the most appropriate settings for the Early Years hubs. We are looking for the hubs to provide strong leadership and management, financial stability, have a high quality inclusive environment and a dedicated separate early intervention space in the building.

"This will be assessed while determining the successful bidders. By reducing the need for children to travel to an Early Years setting outside of their community, we not only reduce stress for parents, but we also give the children a chance to integrate in their local area.

"We will be awarding the contract by the middle of June so that parents can then visit the new hubs before the start of the new school year in September.

"This also further strengthens our work to enable as many children as possible to remain in mainstream education with the right support as they prepare for adulthood, which we know benefits them and their community in the long run."

Residents can view the full Dudley Council SEND strategy online.


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