FAQs Llanwern High ASD Base Consultation

What will happen to the current SLC provision at Llanwern High School?

The proposal is to establish a new specialist ASD base in addition to the SLC facility currently provided by the school. The proposed area within Llanwern High School for the ASD Base would mean the re-location of the SLC to an alternative area of the school. The Local Authority and School are currently exploring options for the location of this provision to ensure the school is able to continue to meet learners’ needs.

Why the focus on ASD and not other Additional Learning Needs (ALN)?

Analysis of Local Authority data over the past 5 years has demonstrated an increasingly complex ASD population which is also reflected in local officer experience. As such, the Local Authority are committed to ensuring that the ASD provision within the city reflects increasing demand in order to appropriately meet the needs of the majority of pupils within the City, without the requirement for Out of County placements. The Local Authority continually review the data trend analysis to inform future decisions with regards ALN provision within Newport.

Why Llanwern High School? And why only 4 places each year? 

Llanwern High School has been proposed to host the ASD base as all other English-medium secondary schools in Newport are full. The capacity of the ASD base proposed is capped at 20 due to the availability of space at the school. The proposal is to open the base initially with 4 year 7 placements which will incrementally increase over a 5 year period until all 20 placements are established. This will provide security of transition from primary to secondary school in the East of the city for 4 learners each year. The Local Authority’s current ASD provision at The John Frost High School is also a 20 placements provision (although currently there are 25 pupils placed). If the Local Authority’s proposal is implemented, there will be a 20 placement ASD Base both at The John Frost High School and Llanwern High Schools respectively. This will ensure that there is equitable provision on both the East and West side of the City. Each placement will offer 4 placement per year (8 across the City per annum in total).

Why are the Local Authority targeting complex low ability ASD learners as opposed to high functioning ASD learners?

The Local Authority regularly review their ALN provision to ensure that all learners are catered for. The Local Authority recognise that there is a discrepancy currently between Primary and Secondary ALN provision and the proposed ASD Base at Llanwern High School is an acknowledgement of that and a step towards ensuring there are wider secondary provision available. The Local Authority’s Special Schools (Maes Ebbw and Ysgol Bryn Derw) are now catering for more highly complex pupils, including those with profound multiple learning difficulties. As such, the thresholds of provisions such as The John Frost School ASD Base, St Julian’s School Learning Development Centre (LDC) and the proposed Llanwern High School ASD Base will admit a more acute and complex profile of pupils than in previous years. The Local Authority’s data trend analysis has identified that there is a current gap in provision within Newport for learners with complex ASD who are also experiencing learning difficulties. 

In order to provide support for ASD learners who are high functioning, the Local Authority are investing in additional training for school staff in order to upskill and ensure all settings implement appropriate support for learners. This includes, for example, support from the Education Psychology and the Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Advisory Service to schools for a wide range of interventions.  This includes (but is not limited to) where pupils are experiencing high levels of anxiety and Emotional Based School Avoidance (EBSA), to ensure that pupils do not dis-engage with their school placement and are valued within an inclusive school environment.