At the present time there are seven grant-aided special schools and three education support services that receive recurrent funding from the Scottish Government, from an annual budget that will in 2020 become the resource from which national commissioning will be carried out by the National Strategic Commissioning Group. Scottish Ministers are committed to a carefully managed transition from the existing grant system to the new programme of commissioning that ensures that recommendations do not disadvantage children and young people currently in receipt of services and the organisations currently receiving this grant funding will be supported through the change process.
It is proposed that there be a phased release of funding from the current commitments. This would facilitate a managed transition from the present model without prejudice to children and young people currently attending grant-aided schools or accessing broader services. This reflects a commitment made by the Scottish Government when the National Strategic Commissioning Group was established.
It is proposed that within the 10 year strategy, there will be multiple cycles of commissioning. The cycle will seek to align with the relevant spending review period wherever possible to enable the maximum planning and delivery opportunity for commissioned services. This may mean that in the initial commissioning cycle may be for a shorter period to enable alignment with spending review timeframes. This would also enable the lessons learned to be considered from the initial commissioning cycle.
The National Strategic Commissioning Group will work with its stakeholders to produce a supplement to this plan to set out how it will operate to achieve its vision. This will involve developing a forward funding plan in collaboration with the current school/service grant recipients, which will support the move from the traditional recurrent grant funding model to the strategic commissioning model.