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Plans unveiled for new special needs school in Bury St Edmunds

PUBLISHED: 17:27 08 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:27 08 October 2020

Land on the Moreton Hall estate in Bury St Edmunds where a new special educational needs and disabilities school is to be built. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Land on the Moreton Hall estate in Bury St Edmunds where a new special educational needs and disabilities school is to be built. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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Plans to build a new special educational needs school in Bury St Edmunds have been submitted – with hopes it will be open in September 2022.

Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for education, Mary Evans, said the new Moreton Hall SEMH school would provide highly specialist education. Picture: GREGG BROWNSuffolk County Council's cabinet member for education, Mary Evans, said the new Moreton Hall SEMH school would provide highly specialist education. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk County Council lodged the planning application for the new 80-place school to be built next to Abbots Green Academy on the Moreton Hall estate.

It will cater for pupils aged nine to 16 with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs, and comes as part of the authority’s £45million plan to create more than 800 new special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) school places.

MORE: County plans 800 new SEND school places with £45m plan

Councillor Mary Evans, cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills at Suffolk County Council, said: “This new school will meet demand for highly specialist provision in the west of the county and will provide 80 places for children aged nine to 16 with social, emotional and mental health needs.

“The new school will complement new special schools and specialist units being developed across the county and is an important element in Suffolk’s programme to transform special educational needs provision in Suffolk.”

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The design and access statement provided by agents Concertus said it would sit comfortably with the nearby existing schools, while careful consideration of the pupils’ needs had also been carried out.

The report continued: “The location of the site close to established educational facilities makes sense as it is a similar use and the location is easily accessible via major roads, which is a significant factor for an SEMH school due to its widespread catchment area and the nature of pupil transportation to and from the site.”

Concertus added that it will allow for “high quality education for the pupils who need it most”.

The plans are likely to be presented for a decision later this year, with work then taking place in 2021 ahead of a planned September 2022 opening.

MORE: First 10 schools to get new SEND units announced

The council in January 2019 unveiled a £45m plan to create more than 800 new SEND places, following a huge rise in demand for specialist provision.

That plan, which followed extensive research by a dedicated task group, includes new special schools as well as 36 new units attached to mainstream schools providing special educational needs provision.


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