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SEN Capital Funding

Local authorities must ensure there are sufficient good school places for all pupils, including those with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and disabilities. The Government has committed £215 million of capital funding nationally (2018-2020) 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.

The allocation for Torbay was a total of £500,000 which is split into 3 equal payments for each of the years 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21. In May 2018, the DfE announced a £50 million increase to this fund and in December 2018 a further £100million to local authorities, taking the total investment in this fund to £365 million. The additional allocations for Torbay announced May 2018 (£116,279) and December 2018 (£232,558) bring Torbay’s revised total allocation to £848,837.

This funding is:

  • intended for the children and young people with education, health and care (EHC) plans for whom the local authority is responsible.
  • to support local authorities to invest in provision for children and young people with SEN and disabilities aged 0-25 to improve the quality and range of provision available to the local authority.

Torbay aspires to create a well-planned continuum of provision from birth to age 25 that meets the needs of children and young people with Special Educational needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families as set out in our SEND Strategy.

Torbay’s Current Context and Performance

There are currently 26,745 children and young people under the age of 18 living in Torbay (ONS mid- year 2015). 20,322 children and young people attend state-funded schools in Torbay (January 2018 school census).

Torbay has a high proportion of children and young people with Statements / Education, Health and Care Plans. This equates to 4.8% of the pupil population compared to 2.9% nationally. This figure includes all types of schools including free schools and independent schools (school census 2018 as reported in Local Authority Interactive Tool (LAIT)).

The SEND legislation covers the age range 0-25 years. The total number of Torbay pupils with EHC Plans / Statements is 1134 (as of 30/1/17). The following charts demonstrate the number of pupils with either an EHC Plan / Statement by age band and the primary identified need.

Current Provision and Accessibility

Children and young people in Torbay may attend mainstream early years settings, schools or colleges or specialist provision such as mainstream schools with enhanced resource provision or special schools. In a diverse provider landscape the local area must exercise a range of roles and remain committed to the inclusion of children and young people.

In addition to mainstream provision the LA has developed a number of enhanced resource provisions that are delivered by mainstream providers. These include the following:-

  • Barton Academy (Speech & Language Therapy)
  • Preston Primary School (Autistic Spectrum Condition)
  • St Margaret’s Academy (Hearing Impairment)
  • The Spires College (Hearing Impairment)
  • The Spires College (Autistic Spectrum Condition - newly created via SEN Capital Funding 2018)
  • Brixham College (Autistic Spectrum Condition)
  • Paignton Acadamy (Social, Emotional and Mental Health (axiety) - newly created via SEN Capital Funding 2018)

The number of children presenting with additional needs is increasing both locally and nationally. Torbay has taken action to commission additional placements with existing schools, colleges and special schools within the local area. The current capacity of providers to expand the offer further is limited; this is compounded by the demographical demand to create more provision at all phases.

The SEND reforms have required Post 16 provision to be developed further. Additional needs which require enhanced provisions are around students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Emotional, Socialand Mental Health difficulties (SEMH).

The SEND Strategy provides the framework within which services can develop in an affordable and sustainable manner in the interests of Torbay children.

Participation is a key theme within the SEND Strategy, which also identifies Co-Production as a Priority area. We will ensure that parents, children and young people are involved in discussions and decisions about every aspect of planning, including making provision to meet local needs.

SEN Capital Funding Consultation Results

Online and paper based consultation for this funding was originally undertaken between  1 December 2017 and 31 January 2018.

This was an opportunity for children and young people with SEN and disabilities, their families, education providers and Torbay residents, to consider what was being proposed and feedback their views. Responses received were then be used to help inform decision making on how the funding will be allocated.

The majority of respondents supportive of the proposals presented. Please see the 2018 consultation results by either clicking here or using the downloads section on the right hand side of this webpage.

Additional consultation in relation to the additional funds allocated to Torbay via the Special Provision Capital Funding were undertaken between 2 - 30 May. 

This was an opportunity for children and young people with SEN and disabilities, their families, education providers and Torbay residents, to consider what was being proposed  for the additional funds allocated and feedback their views. Responses received were then be used to help inform decision making on how the funding will be allocated.

The majority of respondents supportive of the proposals presented. The 2019 consultation report is in the process of being written up and will be published shortly.

Torbay's Special Provision Plan (2018-2021)

The Government requires local authorities to complete and publish a short plan that sets out how they intend to invest their allocation, which is visible to parents, carers and other local groups.

The plan for local authorities SEND capital provision allocations should sit coherently with their wider plan.

For Torbay, this is the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Strategy 2016-2020 which sets out the Local Authority (LA) strategy for improving outcomes and life chances for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) across the local area.

The conditions and timeline of this funding are:




Spring 2018

Local authorities must consult with parents and providers

Consultation took place between 1 December 2017 and 31 January 2018.

By Wednesday 14 March 2018

Local authorities must publish the short plan on their local offer page

Torbay's original Special Provision Plan (2018-2021) published 14/3/18

Summer 2018

If plans meet requirements, local authorities will receive the first tranche of funding.

First tranche of funding received.

Spring 2019

Local authorities must consult further with parents and providers

Consultation took place between 2 - 30 May 2019.

31 May 2019

Local authorities must update and republish their plan to show what they have spent on so far, and any changes/updates to their plan or consultation. This should cover as much detail as is known on how they will spend the additional funding.

Torbay's revised and updated Special Provision Plan (2018-2021) published 31/5/19

Summer 2019

If plans meet requirements, local authorities will receive the second tranche of funding.

March 2020

Local authorities should update and republish their plans again.


Summer 2020

Local authorities will receive the third tranche of funding.


March 2021

Local authorities should update and republish their plan a final time, to show how all money was eventually spent.


Please see

by either clicking the title or using the downloads section on the right hand side of this webpage.

SEND Accessibility Fund Application process, guidance and forms

The bidding round for 2019 applications ran between 24 April - 30 May 2019 and is now closed. Sucsessful applicants will be contacted shortly. 

Successful applicants for Accessibility Funding to improve inclusion in Mainstream Schools 2018-19

Below are summary details of the projects that were successful in improving inclusion within mainstream via the Accessibility Funding in 2018-19. Where supplied by schools, there are also comments from the successful schools with images of the work completed.

Name of School Description of extended provision

Torre C of E Academy

Creation of sensory area within the Reception Unit - safe, calming and sensory stimulating room within the Reception Unit to allow SEN children to develop and engage in sensory experiences without feeling frightened or overwhelmed.  Resourced with lights, projections, cushions, tactile toys, calming music, soft play equipment and safety items e.g. plug covers etc.

“The money we received to go towards setting up the sensory room had provided the children of Torre Academy C of E with a fully equipped indoor sensory room with strobes, sensory mats, soft areas and plenty of resources to meet the needs of several children.

In our outdoor area, we were able to develop it with a range of outdoor equipment to enhance their learning.

The impact this has on our SEN children is evident for all that visit to see. Our children with sensory needs often self-regulate using this room and it has become a fantastic safe space to allow them to meet sensory seeking needs”.


St Cuthbert Mayne

The provision of blinds to improve access to the learning environment for those with visual impairment.

Muddy Wellies Nursery (YMCA)

Creation of a sensory room for children to access, to include specialist sensory walls, flooring, lighting, projectors, bubble tubes, seating, bean bags, sounds and textures.  All children benefit from having a secure and safe space to relax and engage emotional thinking to help promote learning, but naturally, for children with additional needs and disabilities it can play a crucial part in their development and progress.

“The children absolutely love the new sensory room, we have found that all of them are benefitting from the holistic, calming atmosphere it is providing, it is particularly helpful for our 1:1 children too.

Thank you so much for the funding, we couldn’t have achieved this without it!”


Churston Ferrers Grammar School

Conversion of a functional room into a calm, sensory room with soft chairs, weighted blankets, lowered ceiling, soft lighting with carpet and calming wall coverings. Provision of a safe and calming room will accelerate the process of helping young persons to re-engage with school life and their learning It is hoped that the room will play a significant role in helping to reduce school and/or lesson absence due to anxiety and that the room will enable the school to work towards significantly improved life chances for their most vulnerable students.

“The old storage/nurses room now has a much lower ceiling, making it feel a much cosier room.  The colour on the wall and the dimmable lighting has helped create a soothing space and removing the large sink and shelves give much more sitting space.  The new smaller sink placed in the toilet makes the toilet still useable.

In the mornings before school and during breaks and lunches up to 3 students at any one time use the room.  Most of these are EHCP students but other highly anxious autistic students also use the room on a daily basis. The room is also used frequently during the day for students to spend time regulating themselves, or during their dropped lessons to complete work.  We keep some lego, puzzles and calming items in the room so that it much more of the student's room, rather than a multi-use meeting room and they feel very much that it is their space.  They have named it the 'chill out room' and created a sign for the door.

At present the walls are bare to create a calm space with no distractions, but we will liaise with the key students to discuss if they would like anything else in there. 

It has been a much needed addition to enable us to cater for our higher needs students who require 1:1 TAs at all times, particularly for 2 of our new yr 7 EHCP students and a highly anxious yr 9 student who has recently been diagnosed with autism."


Our Lady Of The Angels

Creation of a level path with suitable surface, wide enough for an electric wheelchair. The outcome would be increased inclusivity in PE and sports for wheelchair users.

“The camber on this entrance meant that our child who uses a wheelchair felt very unsafe accessing the playing field. The child now gets down there in safety and, weather permitting, plays on the field and joins in with sporting events with the other children”.

Paignton Community & Sports Academy

Alterations required to accommodate two students moving from the Waterleat Road Site to the Borough Road Site.  To include altered access on site for powered wheelchairs.  Improve physical access to classrooms and specialist equipment.

Sherwell Valley Primary School

Works to extend current pastoral room to create a large, more open and dedicated area for all social, emotional and mental health interventions. The space will be redecorated and equipped with calming resources and comfortable seating.

Churston Ferrers Grammar School

The conversion of an internal filing space in the Sixth form student study area into a calm sensory room with soft chairs, weighted blankets, soft lighting with carpet and calming wall coverings.

The room is next to the Sixth form office and allows for easy access by pastoral staff to the students who will be using the room.  Installation of good quality recessed speakers and a wifi audio unit to enable acoustic isolation of the room from outside distractions. CFGS experience significant success with pastoral and SEND services post 16, but are very short of the appropriate space necessary to support their most vulnerable students.  The premium on space is often felt at free association times and it is these times that can be the most challenging for students who have particular needs around anxiety and social interaction. 

"It has become increasingly apparent that the various health issues experienced by young people often present themselves in school. Our EHCP students are amongst our most vulnerable students and these students need ongoing support which is targeted and discrete. Students diagnosed with ADHD, who are on medication require a quiet place to take this, often need rest breaks and a place to settle, away from the noise of the common room. An EHCP student who suffers from the effects of viral encephalitis, experiences anxiety and sensitivity to bright lights and noise therefore benefiting from access to a calm room with subdued lighting. Having a quiet and private space to talk to such students, who sometimes need to sit with a member of staff who can explain boundaries and provide instructions in a manner tailored to the needs of the student without interruption, offer them counselling and mentoring is invaluable for their wellbeing. For the Sixth Form Team to spend time regularly listening to and advising students on a 'one to one' basis necessitates having this discreet and private area. There are also times when external agencies involved with our students visit them in school and need a separate room to meet with them; being able to access the room via the Sixth Form office also extends privacy to visitors and students alike."  

Watcombe Primary School

Creation of a forest school area to allow specific children to develop and manage their SEMH in a different environment beyond the classroom.

  • Building a wooden bridge to gain access
  • Site a storage shed for equipment
  • Purchase equipment

Roselands Primary School

Development of nurture provision. This provision will provide an additional learning, calming and sensory space for children who are struggling to access the curriculum in a classroom environment. It will provide a calming, free environment that will allow adults to meet children's sensory, emotional and social needs as well as allowing them to access the curriculum in a style that is more appropriate to their needs.