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All-important school expansion moves a step closer

PUBLISHED: 21:48 06 March 2019 | UPDATED: 21:48 06 March 2019

Left to right, councillor Kevin Bentley; Chris Travers, Morgan Sindall construction operations director; Clare Kershaw, director of  education at Essex County Council; and councillor Ray Gooding. Picture: MORGAN SINDALL

Left to right, councillor Kevin Bentley; Chris Travers, Morgan Sindall construction operations director; Clare Kershaw, director of education at Essex County Council; and councillor Ray Gooding. Picture: MORGAN SINDALL

Colchester Garrison

An £18.8million school expansion is closer to opening after reaching its topping out stage.

An artist's impression of how the Lexden Springs School extension by Morgan Sindall will look. Picture: INFINITE 3DAn artist's impression of how the Lexden Springs School extension by Morgan Sindall will look. Picture: INFINITE 3D

Morgan Sindall Construction is building the extension to Lexden Springs School in Colchester to provide capacity for an additional 80 pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

It will take the number of children with special needs that the school can support up to 200.

Thirty boarding places will also be created for pupils, as well as extensive car parking and landscaping works.

The new building will have two separate entrances, with one specifically designed for use by minibuses and taxis to drop off and collect pupils.

Lexden Springs’ expansion, which is due to be complete later this year, is part of the authority’s plans to spend up to £115m on creating more than 400 new SEND places across Essex.

The move comes after an increase in the number of children in the county being diagnosed with autism and a surge in the demand for SEND school places.

Chris Travers, operations director for Morgan Sindall Construction in the East of England, said: “Essex County Council’s investment in Lexden’s new building, as well as its wider investment in educational provisions across the region, demonstrates the leading role that the council is taking to transform SEND teaching facilities in Essex.

“We know that there is a growing demand from families in the area for greater SEND resources and schools such as Lexden will be designed to the scale and high-quality that will allow their children to flourish.”

Councillor Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for education, said the investment “demonstrates our commitment to ensuring our county’s schools are equipped to meet pupils’ individual needs”.

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