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Integrated Resource Proposal

Proposal to open an Integrated Resource (IR) at Newfield Secondary School from 1st September 2024 to support children with complex Special Educational Needs and Disabilities specifically, Communication and Interaction – Social Communication (Autism) and/or Speech and Language.


Newfield School is committed to providing high quality provision for the full range of local children. Over many years, we have developed a strong reputation for its mainstream offer, but also for the small but growing number of children who have more complex Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

These children’s needs are currently met within our Learning Support Base with varying degrees of integration into the mainstream school. This provision has been created, with extra resources from the school and Mercia Learning Trust, given our commitment to be fully inclusive for all children.

Nationally and across Sheffield, the number of children with more complex SEND needs is increasing, but there are not enough specialist places, either in special schools or Integrated Resources attached to mainstream schools, to accommodate them. Within Newfield and the locality, there is a similar increase, and a necessity for more properly resourced places.


In partnership with the Local Authority, we therefore propose to open a 30-pupil place Integrated Resource (IR) for pupils in Years 7 to 11, to provide specialist education and therapeutic support for young people with an EHCP for Communication and Interaction Needs (Speech and Language and Social Communication - Autism) who require more bespoke and specialist provision.

The places will be made available, in the first instance, to children already attending school (the majority), those due to be admitted in Y7 in September 2024, or from the immediate locality.

Newfield School is entering into the project at the same time as Nether Edge Primary School and Woodlands Primary, demonstrating a Trust-wide commitment to supporting our most vulnerable children.


There are many benefits to this proposal:

  1. It allows us to respond positively to the current and future need for specialist SEND pupil places within its catchment and the locality.
  2. Because it changes the official status of school provision, it boosts SEND funding substantially.
  3. More funding will allow us to increase staffing levels, provide more resources and interventions for children with SEND, and improve provision overall.
  4. It allows us to access substantial capital funding from the Local Authority.  We will use this to construct specialist and bespoke spaces to accommodate new provision.
  5. It releases funds, previously used to support specialist provision, back to the mainstream and so benefits all children.
  6. It supports the Local Authority (LA) objective to increase specialist places in mainstream schools across the city.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will be provided within the specialist Integrated Resource?

  • The Integrated Resource will support young people who have an EHCP for Communication and Interaction Needs (Autism) as their primary need.  The IR will serve up to 30 pupils, with approximately 5-6 in each year group from Years 7 to Year 11.  The pupils will predominantly be from our catchment, so that local children can access high quality provision at their local school, and close to their home. 

    The Local Authority will be the admissions authority and will make the decision about whether a pupil will have a place in the IR.  It is important to note that not all pupils with this designated need will receive a place and there is no guarantee that naming Newfield on an EHCP will ensure an automatic placement.  However, we have been working with the local authority and have agreed that our provision will serve children from the local area.

    The IR would be an extension of Newfield School, with the same high expectations, values, and ethos. As the IR is part of Newfield School, the routines and times of the day will be the same as the mainstream school and school uniform will be worn.  It is important that our pupils in the IR know they are part of the Newfield community.

    Pupils will be integrated into mainstream routines, lessons, enrichment, extra-curricular activities where appropriate – the aim to fully integrate pupils where possible.  However, based on the assessment of current and future need, there will be pupils who would need full-time or close to full-time specialist provision.  A bespoke timetable and curriculum will be put in place for each pupil.  This will include time for any specialist support from external providers, e.g. Speech and Language therapy, Educational Psychology assessment, Family therapy etc.  Breaks and lunch will generally be at the same time as the mainstream school.  Some pupils may have some of their lessons or group sessions with pupils in a different year group in the IR.  We will place pupils in groups very carefully based on individual need.

    The IR will be staffed by specialist teachers and support staff.  There will be a minimum offer of the following:

  • Maths, English, Science, Creative Subject, PE, Personal Development
  • Bespoke therapeutic support
  • Life skills and post-16 preparation (Year 10 and 11)

How will pupils be admitted to the IR?

All children with have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) for Communication and Interaction Needs (Autism). Children already within the school (who will take up the majority of places) with this designation will automatically access a place within the IR if parents request this through an Annual Review. Other pupils will gain access via the Local Authority SEND admissions protocols.

Where will it be accommodated?

We plan to construct a purpose-built base, including classrooms, meeting rooms and therapeutic spaces on the current site.

We expect all construction work to be completed in the next 12 months.

Who will oversee this new provision?

The Headteacher and Head of Special Educational Needs will have direct responsibility for oversight of the Integrated Resource. This is alongside their overall responsibilities for school leadership and the offer to all children.

The Governing Body, and Mercia Learning Trust, will also have strategic accountability for the quality of provision, alongside the Local Authority who have co-commissioned the provision.

The provision will be led by a specialist teacher with experience of leading SEND, particularly in Communication and Interaction needs (Autism) and supported by a range of specialist teaching and support staff.  (In the first instance, the SENDCo, 2 teachers and 4 specialist support staff, although this may change depending on the needs of the pupils).

When will this open?

The IR is planned to open in September at the beginning of the 2024-25 academic year.

However, this is a significant new build, and we cannot guarantee it will be ready by September.  If this is the case, those pupils who would have a place in the IR will remain in Newfield School but will benefit from a higher staff to pupil ratio and a more bespoke offer through our Learning Support Department.

Will this proposal affect mainstream school and pupils?

School will operate as it does now, with the specialist IR adjacent to the main school.

Mercia Learning Trust has considerable experience of running IRs as one has already been established for many years at King Ecgbert School.

Consultation process

The school conducted a formal consultation process in January/February 2024, including two events in school. 

During the process, feedback was gathered, the overwhelming majority of which was positive.

Questions gathered from the consultation

Y6 children have already made their choices for secondary school.  Does this mean my child will miss a place in the IR?

Once Newfield has the agreement to open the IR and our Memorandum of Understanding has been finalised, we will consult with the Local Authority about current Y6 pupils.

Will the uniform be the same in the IR?

Ethos and values are the same as school. The IR is not a separate provision but fully immersed in school life, therefore, expectations remain the same, including uniform.

Will the IR fill up or will there be spaces for pupils who are currently in Y5?

The Memorandum of Understanding will ensure that the majority of admissions to the IR are from our catchment and so there will be space each year as the Y11 cohort leave.

What about provision for those pupils with SEND who do not have an ASD/SPL need?

We will continue to provide first class support and education for those children with other SEND needs.  An IR will allow us to reorganise our resources so that all our pupils have the provision they need to thrive.

Numbers of children with SEND have risen significantly, is a 30 place IR big enough to meet the need of all?

Based on our current cohort and a review of pupils’ needs coming through primary schools in our locality, a 30 place IR is right. We do not want our IR to be any bigger as this takes away from the bespoke nature of support we want to offer.

If a child has an EHCP, this ‘overrides’ catchment in admissions.  Is there an agreement with the LA which is different to the admissions criteria?

We are in conversations with the Local Authority about admissions and are confident that an agreed Memorandum of Understanding will ensure the majority of pupils in the IR will be from our catchment.

Nationally, there is a shortage of teachers. Will you be able to recruit?

We have successfully recruited to all our vacancies so far and have secured excellent staff.

Will provision be made to prevent friendship groups being broken up when new base for some?

Of course. Children in the IR (dependent on need) will spend time in mainstream lessons, in the base and interact at social times.

Will staff be appointed asap?

We expect to begin to recruit staff in readiness for IR opening in September from April 2024 onwards.

Will there be extra support into classrooms?

IR children will receive appropriate support whilst in provision and in lessons as required to meet their needs.

Did Mercia Learning Trust suggest the IR or did the Local Authority initially?

The school / trust has been carefully tracking SEN pupil trends for some time. We believe current pupil numbers and future admission data suggests establishing new provision is in the best interests of children and school.

It so happens that our approach is supported by the Local Authority who are also committed to addressing the SEN sufficiency challenge and developing a locality / mainstream solution.

What is the agreement around admissions? Will this IR serve the locality?

The Local Authority manage SEN admissions. School has a high number of appropriate SEN children already in school who will benefit, but data from the locality suggests this need is apparent also.

We therefore expect to fill from school catchment and the locality. However, children can be placed from out of area and via SEN tribunals.

Who meets the building costs?

The Local Authority.

How much time will it take to fill the IR?

We suspect the IR will be full by the end of the 2024-25 academic year.

Will there be capacity to expand the IR in the future?

We believe 30 children is an optimum size for a mainstream secondary IR. As such we are keen to keep numbers at this agreed number.

What expertise would we hope to add? From external agencies also?

School already provides strong SEN provision and specialist support to designated children. The IR will provide secure and additional funds to the school so it can boost its capacity to meet need. School will also create a robust curriculum / therapeutic offer by strengthening ties with key external agencies.

Will the number of SEN EHCP consultations to the school increase?

Yes, we anticipate this will increase and will use additional resources to increase our capacity to manage this.

Speech and Language good practice in feeder schools was mentioned

Schools (primary and secondary) within Mercia Learning Trust are working together to create a common curriculum, share best practice and increase the use of external SEN agencies. As the specialism is communication, speech, and language / ASD, we are particularly focused on the communication curriculum.

Decision-making and permission

Following a successful consultation period, the Governors and Trustees have approved the proposal to proceed to a Significant Change application with the Department for Education. Should this be successful, we will update this page in the Spring, and all being well, aim to be on target for a September 2024 start.