Paces Sheffield is a specialist centre, school and charity for children and adults with cerebral palsy and other motor disorders of a neurological origin. Paces programmes are supported by Conductive Education: a holistic package of educational support that aims to help children and adults obtain the greatest level of independence through a range of supportive physical interventions.
Paces have been based at Paces Campus, High Green since 1997. Paces Campus is operated by High Green Development Trust – Paces is a tenant/member. The campus a former secondary school, is in a poor state of repair and is well extended beyond its original buildings lifespan. The Campus is fully occupied, meaning little growth in Paces services can be accommodated.
Paces School provides ‘all through’ provision for children aged 3-16 years old (early years, primary and secondary school). The school presently supports 34 children and is rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted.
Paces School also operates an Outreach Programme that supports 20 children (aged 6 months to 4 years) and their families, both at Paces and in their homes.
Paces Adult Day Service supports 6 young adults (5 FTE); programmes are designed to support participant’s transition into adulthood. The programme focuses on improving and avoiding the deterioration of physical and cognitive abilities whilst promoting independence.
Paces Adult Sessional Programme aims to fill a life-enhancing gap in the provision of rehabilitation and progression services for adults with Parkinson’s and for people who have suffered a stroke. The sessional programme supports 6 people.
All Paces programmes are underpinned by a Family Services Team, who support parents, family members and carers.
Paces income funding is for the provision of children and adults places and is supported by 9 different local authorities. Non-core funding for Family Services is supported by Paces successful track record in fundraising.
There is significant unmet demand for all of Paces services.
As Paces School operates at full capacity, Paces does not actively advertise its places. However, over the last three years it has received 96 queries / referrals from SEN coordinators in mainstream schools, healthcare professionals and through direct contact from parents and family members.
Children have been assessed as suitable for programme, but Paces has limited spatial ability to meet need. Regionally and nationally there is insufficient specialist provision for children with physical and cognitive disability.
Paces was successful in securing Children in Need funding for its Outreach Programme in 2017; based on supporting 8 children (aged 6mths – 3 yrs) per annum over a three year period. However it is presently supporting 20 children p.a. as Paces seeks to support those most in need.
There have been 31 queries for outreach support in the last nine months. A large percentage of families want their child to transition from Outreach into Paces School, but Paces does not have capacity to meet that demand.
Presently Paces offers a 6 (FTE) Place Adult Day Service, however Paces is restricted by spatial constraints. Demand for Paces Adult Sessional Service is high (there were over 50 expressions of interest in Paces first pilot programme). In Sheffield 17% of people presenting to a GP and 19% of hospital admissions are related to neurological conditions. Neurological conditions are the biggest cause of disability across Sheffield.
The number of younger people diagnosed with neurological conditions is increasing (with obesity and sedentary lifestyles thought to be behind the rise). An ageing population has also increased the demands on the NHS for services resulting from Strokes and Parkinson’s. At a similar Conductive Education centre in Birmingham an Adult Sessional Programme supports over 150 people each week.
However, due to spatial constraint Paces is limited in its ability to develop services.