Locations revealed for two new special schools in Suffolk
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The locations for two new special schools have been identified as part of multi-million pound plans to create hundreds of new places for pupils in Suffolk.
Suffolk County Council has embarked on a £45million plan to create more than 800 places for youngsters with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
MORE: Suffolk County Council unveils £45m plan for 800 new SEND placesWork is already underway on plans for two new special schools in Ipswich – the Bobby Robson School on the former Holywells High School site to be run by the Unity Schools Partnership and a 60-place facility off Woodbridge Road, but now the locations for the next two have been revealed.
A communication and interaction needs facility is to be established on the former Bungay Middle School and Sixth Form site, as well as a school for those with social, emotional and mental health needs in Airfield Road, Moreton Hall near Bury St Edmunds.
Both will cater for 80 pupils aged between nine and 16.
Councillor Mary Evans, Conservative cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills said; “I am delighted that we continue to make good progress with the development plans for the two new special schools in Bungay and Bury St Edmunds.
“Despite the Covid-19 restrictions, we are continuing to take forward these projects so that all the new special schools in the council’s programme will be open by 2022, as originally planned.
“Once all four new schools are open we will have a complete network of special schools across Suffolk.
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“These schools will be for both communication and interaction and social and emotional and mental health needs and this is alongside our existing well established offer for cognition and learning needs.
MORE: Soaring 18% SEND demand means Suffolk needs three new special schools“This means that families will have better local access to special school places regardless of where they live.
“Alongside the special school developments we are progressing with the complementary specialist unit programme, with the first new units opening in 2020 and further new places available in future years.
“In total we are investing £45m to create a minimum of 800 specialist places by 2025.
“This programme will transform the opportunities for children and young people with SEND across Suffolk.”
Both new schools are in the pre-application consultation phase.
The council is also consulting on expansions of existing specialist units attached to mainstream schools at Gorseland Primary School in Martlesham, Rushmere Hall Primary School and St Gregory CEVC Primary School in Sudbury.
In December, the authority unveiled the first 10 schools which had successfully bid for brand new specialist units attached to mainstream schools. It is expected that 36 will be established countywide by the project’s end.
Labour education spokesman Jack Abbott said: “I was delighted when our cross-party strategy to deliver 800 new SEND places over five years was accepted by the administration at Suffolk County Council, and it is encouraging that the work to bring these places online continues in earnest.
“The proposed establishment of a new special school in Bungay is especially welcome, with the need for more SEND provision being particularly acute in the north and east of the county.
MORE: First 10 schools announced for new specialist units“This is an area that missed out on the first tranche of new places that are due to come online this September and Bungay Special School would be well placed to deliver provision that is so desperately required.”
More detailed plans for the two new schools are expected later this year.