9 February 2021
North Somerset Council
Mr Roger Tozer
DX 744900 Clevedon
Dear Mr Tozer
Thank you for your request for a review received on 13 January 2021. I am sorry that you are
dissatisfied with our attempts to handle your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your initial request
Your original request of 18 December 2020 was worded as follows:
Please disclose the data, sources of information and other methodology detail, used by NSC to
project the demand on Baytree School as illustrated in the bar chart within your reply dated 21st
October 2019 Your ref; 3051555
1. For the year 2021 indicating 144 places demand
2. For the year 2022 indicating 151 places demand
We responded on 12 January 2021, providing graphical representations of historic and projected
figures of population percentages of children and young people with SEN or EHCPs, and how these
percentages relate to actual number of EHCPs. Details of how the specific projected demand on
Baytree School was calculated was provided, along with weblinks to the data sources used to help
make these calculations. Your request for an internal review
On 13 January 2021 you wrote requesting an internal review, which was worded as follows:
Unfortunately NSC have not provided a response to my question.
The two graphs further provided indicated “children & young people with SEN/EHCP for the
England, South West & North Somerset”. You explained the consensus within NS as experiencing
an upward pressure on the number of requests for EHCP and the graphs provided clearly illustrate
this point. I also acknowledge the increase of assuming additional growth of 0.1%, bringing NSC
into a more national average.
You further explained the projection ratio of the EHCP provision cohort.
• There is no explanation or figures given to breakdown the numbers provided by way of
SEN/EHCP cohorts (ie ASD/SLCN/SEMH) across NS, which would be helpful to my original
• There is no explanation of the figures provided that answers my original request in which I ask for
and only for, Baytree School.
• The increased demand has not been provided for Baytree School but for the whole of the NSC
SEN/EHCP provision, despite my freedom of information requests and your last sentence; “This
was how the demand for Baytree School was projected”. Your Ref; 3051555 and 3172880
My response to your request for an internal review
I was not involved in your original request; I manage the work of the council's Information
Governance team and respond to most requests for an internal review. I have reviewed all of the
correspondence and notes in the case file, and have obtained and examined the records requested. My findings
Having reviewed the response sent to you and corresponded with the team responsible for school
allocations, it is my belief that the questions asked in your initial response have been answered. You
asked for how the figures previously released to you in an earlier request were calculated. I believe
the response sent to you gave a clear and detailed explanation of how the projections have been
I should also point out that the numbers provided to you (144 for 2021 and 151 for 2022) are
, not projected applications
. The projection methodology has been detailed in your
However, I will take each of your points in turn, as perhaps a bit more clarification would assist here.
A breakdown of numbers by way of SEN/EHCP cohorts
This specific breakdown never formed part of your original request. If you wish the team to
consider this, I will need to log it as a new request. However, the team have stated:
“The more detail we try to go into with projections, the more potential error there is in the estimate.
When using projections, we have to remind everyone at each turn that these are estimates, not
guarantees, and also that the methodology will need to be tweaked along the way. For need-based
projections, a good model is adjusted over a period of years to get more accurate. We are
intending to include a chart in the upcoming new Commissioning Strategy document that
translates the need-based estimates into a potential demand for each school, but the chart is still
in draft form. We are working towards the Commissioning Strategy being available for public
consultation in March.”
Note: this doesn’t mean that if you were to make a request for this information that it would be
refused. As with all requests, we would consider it against the requirements of the Act, with the
aim to be to disclose if we can. The increased demand has not been provided for Baytree School, but for the whole of the
NSC SEN/EHCP provision
The methodology provided to you in your response explains how the number of EHCPs has been
projected, and in-turn, how these figures are then used to consider each school’s projected
numbers. I note the paragraph: The final step was to allocate the types of need to type of provision, which was done in conjunction
with the SEND Team, who have in-depth understanding of the individual children and expertise in
special needs. This was how the demand for Baytree School was projected.
So the projections are carried out by initially using the figures across the whole of North Somerset,
and then broken down by school, based on “in-depth understanding of the individual children and
expertise in special needs
The team have gone to say to me that we can't anticipate exact numbers of children attending
specific schools in advance because these are special schools. Special schools serve only
children who have EHCPs. In the process of deciding where a child with special educational
needs is going to attend school, there are many variables that come into play, such as: parental
choice, the child's individual needs, the available resources at each school, etc. What we do know
is that we will need more special school places in county: more than we can reasonably build in
the next few years.
Outcome of the internal review
The response provided to you does answer the question asked. However, I assume from your points
raised in your request for an internal review, that you were hoping for additional detail, not defined in
I hope that the additional detail provided by the team responsible for school allocations provides you
with further assistance, and if you wish to make a request for the specific cohort breakdown, please
let me know and I will log that for you. What you may do next
North Somerset Council now considers that it has complied with your request for an internal review.
If you are not happy with the outcome, you now have the right to appeal directly to the Information
Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioners Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF http://ico.org.uk/
Information Governance Manager
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