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First look at new special school on former Holywells High School site

PUBLISHED: 05:30 09 February 2019

An artist impression of the new special school planned for then former Holywells High School site in Lindbergh Road, Ipswich. Picture: CONCERTUS DESIGN & PROPERTY CONSULTANTS LTD

An artist impression of the new special school planned for then former Holywells High School site in Lindbergh Road, Ipswich. Picture: CONCERTUS DESIGN & PROPERTY CONSULTANTS LTD

CONCERTUS DESIGN & PROPERTY CONSULTANTS LTD

First images for the new special school planned for the former Holywells High School site in Ipswich have been unveiled, as a planning application has now been lodged.

The site was formerlly the home of Holywells High School. Picture: PHIL MORLEYThe site was formerlly the home of Holywells High School. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

The Unity Schools Partnership – previously under the guise of the Samuel Ward Academy Trust – will be developing a 60-place school on the Lindbergh Road site for youngsters with social, emotional and mental health needs.

It comes as Suffolk County Council revealed it was facing an 18% annual increase in demand for special educational needs (SEND) places in the county.

The special school had already been announced before the council outlined its £45million plan in January to create hundreds of SEND places, with a full planning application now having been submitted to Ipswich Borough Council on February 6.

Tim Coulson, chief executive of the Unity Schools Partnership, said: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to open a new special school in Ipswich.

Tim Coulson from the Unity Schools Partnership. Picture: UNITY SCHOOLS PARTNERSHIPTim Coulson from the Unity Schools Partnership. Picture: UNITY SCHOOLS PARTNERSHIP

“Following consultation with local parents and groups, we know there is a huge need in the area.

“Unity Schools Partnership prides itself on our hubs of secondary and primary schools.

“Now one of our big plans for the future is to create a similar hub of special schools which will follow our Ofsted-outstanding Churchill Special Free School in Haverhill.

“We look forward to working closely with stakeholders, supporters, parents and the local community to build a special school that Ipswich, and the whole of Suffolk, can be proud of.”

The Lindbergh Road site had been home to Ipswich Academy, before the school moved to its Brazier's Wood Road site. Picture: LUCY TAYLORThe Lindbergh Road site had been home to Ipswich Academy, before the school moved to its Brazier's Wood Road site. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The plans are in the public consultation phase, and are likely to go before the borough council’s planning committee this spring.

If approved, an opening date of September 2020 has been earmarked.

Councillor Gordon Jones, cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills at Suffolk County Council, said: “The new school will cater for children aged between eight and 16 with social, emotional and mental health needs.

“The school will bring much needed further provision for children with additional needs in this part of the county.

Gordon Jones from Suffolk County Council said he hoped the new special school could be open by September 2020. Picture: SCC/SIMON LEE PHOTOGRAPHYGordon Jones from Suffolk County Council said he hoped the new special school could be open by September 2020. Picture: SCC/SIMON LEE PHOTOGRAPHY

“We anticipate the school will open in September 2020.”

The Unity Schools Partnership confirmed in December that it will take over the running of the Bridge School in Ipswich from the summer, after the school received an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating.

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