Consultation opens on plans to create 22-place unit for autistic children at Upminster secondary school

Hall Mead School. Picture: Hall Mead

Hall Mead School. Picture: Hall Mead - Credit: Archant

An Upminster secondary school is asking for parents’ views on plans to merge two units for autistic children to create a larger 22-place scheme.

Havering Council has today (Monday, January 13) published an online consultation on plans to merge the two units at Hall Mead School in Marlborough Road.

The school, which is rated Outstanding by Ofsted, already has a 12-place Additionally Resourced Provision (ARP) for pupils with an existing Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) that lists Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but also has provision for a 10-place Learning Resource Unit.

It is now being proposed to merge the two.

The council's consultation document argues that increasing the numbers of the current ARP from 12 to 22 will bring 10 of the most complex children on roll at the school fully into the current management and funding arrangements.

They will benefit from the coordinated approach by the ARP staff and the resource provision will benefit from a single funding stream.

Under current projections, the council is expecting the need for ARP across Havering to more than double by 2022/23 - rising from the 145 secondary school places that were required in 2018/19 to 309 in 2022/23.

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The consultation documents go on: "The proposed rationalisation of places at the existing ASD ARP at Hall Mead will help contribute to meet the future need for ARP places from the growing number of pupils with ASD."

The increase in place numbers for ARP pupils will not impact those already at the school. and admissions to the ARP will continue to be made through Havering's SEN panel.

At the moment, the council is operating under the impression the merger will not have any impact on Hall Mead's current staffing structure or staffing requirements.

It is also not anticipated that any building works will be required for the proposals to be implemented if the council approves them.

The consultation runs until Monday, February 10 2020.

As Hall Mead is an academy, the final decision as to whether this proposal is approved for implementation will be made by the Regional Schools Commissioner on behalf of the Department for Education.

You can have your say on the proposals at