Context: All B&NES secondary schools are currently academies and therefore not under Local Authority control. Most B&NES primary schools are currently under LA control. Local authorities are responsible for those children and young people (under age 25) in its area who have, or may have, special educational needs (SEN) and must exercise its functions to indentify children and young people with SEN. These SEN duties apply regardless of where the child is educated.
The Green Party believes that all children, including those with special needs, should attend their local school, unless their needs are too complex. We support the funding of schools which are secular and co-educational. We will work with all schools to ensure respect and responsibility for the environment, humanity and world citizenship is at the core of all teaching.
In Bath and North East Somerset we will actively promote:
- The continued extension of schools as a community resource. Primary schools should be a 'hub' for children's activities
- The reopeing of a secondary school on the site of the former Culverhay School
- The extension of outdoor education in all sectors within the remit of the extended curriculum
- The implementation of individual learning plans for all students from the age of fourteen
- Meaningful involvement of students in the internal democratic processes of schools
- The provision of safe walking and cycling routes and free public transport for children and young people while still at school or further education
- The limitation of further university development to areas such as Peasedown St John and Radstock to provide much-needed jobs and relieve the pressure on the city and the Green Belt.
We believe that:
- It is not good policy to bus children in from other local authorities, so we would give priority to making schools cater for B&NES children
- Secondary schools which become academies should be encouraged to build partnerships with the communities they serve
- Although we do not support outsourcing of educational and school services, if it happens it should be under school control.
- children’s centres should continue, but also work with playgroups and other providers to ensure a variety of provision. We believe it is important for families to be involved in young children’s care and so would support measures to facilitate home-based care for two year olds alongside day care and specific parent groups
- all children should be educated in local schools with their peers. We would therefore transfer the primary sections of special schools to smaller units located in primary schools initially, extending to secondary schools where possible. This would both free up money to extend the children's education and also offer more chances for educating all children together.