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Trio of Haverhill schools to get special educational needs and disability units

Three schools in Haverhill are among ten that have been selected by Suffolk County Council to have new Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) units attached to them.

Burton End Primary Academy will have a generic Key Stage 1 Unit, Clements Primary a Cognition and Learning Key Stage 2 Unit and Castle Manor Academy a Cognition and Learning Key Stage 3/4 Unit.

Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity Schools Partnership, of which all three schools are a part, said: “We are delighted that five schools within our trust - including three from Haverhill - have been selected.

Staff and students at Castle Manor Academy celebrating their improved rating by Ofsted last summer. Contributed picture
Staff and students at Castle Manor Academy celebrating their improved rating by Ofsted last summer. Contributed picture

“This funding will enable us to provide specialist provision in these two West Suffolk towns and we anticipate that the five secondary and primary schools will work closely together.

“This is a crucial area of local education and one that has been prioritised by Unity Schools Partnership.

“Our ambition is to be a trust of mainstream and special schools and a trust for all children.I think local families in both towns and the surrounding area will welcome this news.

Clements Primary Academy in Haverhill
Clements Primary Academy in Haverhill

“The funding will enable us to adapt and further enhance our schools to provide additional spaces and we feel privileged to have been selected to take on this provision.”

Across Suffolk an additional 168 new specialist placements will be available for children and their families from September 2020, on top of existing specialist provision.

Successful schools are currently working with the council to ensure the appropriate infrastructure and support is in place to enable these new units to be open in September 2020.

A further commissioning round will begin in Spring 2020 and will consider further expressions of interest from mainstream schools who hope to open units in September 2021.

This will include targeted work from our provider development team in areas of the county where gaps have been identified to ensure the county is able to offer local provision for children and their families.

Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills, Cllr Mary Evans said: “We are delighted with the interest shown by our mainstream schools and would like to thank all those who came forward wanting to work in partnership to deliver this provision.

“If you are a mainstream school that would like to become involved or would like further information there is still time.

“Regular updates will follow as we continue to work hard in the delivery of our capital programme across the next five years, resulting in an additional 870 specialist places.”

Please contact Jamie Mills Jamie.mills@suffolk.gov.uk for further information if your school is interested in developing a SEND unit.

The council is very pleased to work in partnership with the Suffolk Parent Carer Network and a spokesperson for the Network, said: “The development of new specialist education placements is something that SPCN continue to be involved in at all stages, with the parent carer voice and feedback we have received being an integral part of the specialist unit provision process.

“To see so many providers coming forward saying they want to be part of the solution gives us real hope that we are now on our way to having an education offer that meets the needs of Suffolk's most vulnerable learners and we look forward to working alongside all partners in the future developments of the Capital Programme.”