Proposed change to Garlinge Children's Centre

This consultation is seeking views on the proposal to change the use of Garlinge Children’s Centre to that of a Specialist Resource Provision for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and provide Children’s Centre services to the local community through Birchington Children’s Centre.

ASD is the most common special education need type in Kent with 42.7% of all EHCPs (0-25) having ASD as their primary need. In Thanet 50% of all EHCPs for primary aged school pupils have ASD named as their primary need.

Some children with an EHCP require a higher level of support than a mainstream school can provide but their needs are not so complex that a special school is appropriate for them. For these children, a SRP based in a mainstream school is the best way to ensure they receive the education they require. However, Thanet does not currently have any SRPs in any of its primary schools, the nearest ones being in Canterbury and Whitstable.

A number of children’s centres, including Garlinge and Birchington, have been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic with services being delivered from key centres within each district. There are currently 46 Children’s Centres open and KCC is undertaking a phased reopening of the remaining children’s centres throughout autumn and winter, ensuring each one is Covid safe for children, families and staff.

It is proposed that the early years, health (health visiting and midwifery) and parenting services previously delivered from Garlinge Children’s Centre would be transferred to the current part-time Birchington Children’s Centre, which would have its opening hours extended to full-time.

Have your say

Please read the consultation document and then fill in the questionnaire to tell us your views on the proposal. Responses will be considered and a report will go to the Children, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee in January 2022. Then a decision will be made on whether or not to go ahead with the proposal.


This consultation is seeking views on the proposal to change the use of Garlinge Children’s Centre to that of a Specialist Resource Provision for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and provide Children’s Centre services to the local community through Birchington Children’s Centre.

ASD is the most common special education need type in Kent with 42.7% of all EHCPs (0-25) having ASD as their primary need. In Thanet 50% of all EHCPs for primary aged school pupils have ASD named as their primary need.

Some children with an EHCP require a higher level of support than a mainstream school can provide but their needs are not so complex that a special school is appropriate for them. For these children, a SRP based in a mainstream school is the best way to ensure they receive the education they require. However, Thanet does not currently have any SRPs in any of its primary schools, the nearest ones being in Canterbury and Whitstable.

A number of children’s centres, including Garlinge and Birchington, have been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic with services being delivered from key centres within each district. There are currently 46 Children’s Centres open and KCC is undertaking a phased reopening of the remaining children’s centres throughout autumn and winter, ensuring each one is Covid safe for children, families and staff.

It is proposed that the early years, health (health visiting and midwifery) and parenting services previously delivered from Garlinge Children’s Centre would be transferred to the current part-time Birchington Children’s Centre, which would have its opening hours extended to full-time.

Have your say

Please read the consultation document and then fill in the questionnaire to tell us your views on the proposal. Responses will be considered and a report will go to the Children, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee in January 2022. Then a decision will be made on whether or not to go ahead with the proposal.