Meeting challenges by assessing needs

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) provision for secondary age children in Bromley...


Bromley Council has a growing number of children with SEN (ASD) and were unable to predict future numbers. They were also unsure about the best provision to meet their needs. We set about investigating all SEN (ASD) children in Bromley. The first task was to calculate a pupil placed planning model to determine how many children there were in the borough with autism/SEN. We found that often, a child’s condition was not picked up until transition into secondary school. The stable, familiar and consistent environment of a primary school was unknowingly covering up the child’s condition.


Having completed the model we went on to gather data on provision. Working closely with professionals we gained an insight into what these children needed during their school life. We designed a curriculum and a building that would not only take them through school life, but also provide for future children with a range of special needs. The third task was to examine ways to reduce the reliance on out of borough placements and independent residential settings. We gathered a considerable amount of data, including a chronology on each SEN (ASD) secondary aged child, culminating in a cost breakdown related to outcomes achieved.


We provided Bromley with a robust model showing the predicted number/type (not just ASD) of children they needed to provide for over the next 20 years. This outcome helped reduce costs, increase provision and improve the experience of young people with SEN (ASD). Bromley Council, one of the pathfinders for the SEND green paper and families bill, are currently piloting some of the government’s ideas and much of this model has been fed into the paper.