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New SEND school for East Suffolk as Suffolk County Council secures additional £10.9 million for new specialist places





A new SEND school is to open in East Suffolk after funding was announced by the Government – while the county is to receive £10.9 million to create new specialist places.

Unity Schools Partnership will run the new school but the exact location has not been confirmed yet.

The school will provide space for nearly 130 children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

A new SEND school is set to open in East Suffolk. Pictured: Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity Schools Partnership. Picture: submitted
A new SEND school is set to open in East Suffolk. Pictured: Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity Schools Partnership. Picture: submitted

Dr Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity Schools Partnership, said: “Congratulations to the trust special schools’ staff for giving the Department for Education the confidence to approve this new special school.

“It will be a little sister to The Bridge School in Ipswich, also a school for children with severe learning difficulties, which provides excellent education for children who most need excellence.”

Meanwhile, Suffolk County Council is set to receive an additional £10.9 million to create new SEND places.

The school will provide space for nearly 130 children. Picture: iStock
The school will provide space for nearly 130 children. Picture: iStock

The money, announced by the Department for Education, will be used to create new places in mainstream and special schools as well as to improve the suitability and accessibility of existing buildings.

This new funding is in addition to the £55 million already invested by the council into creating more than 1,000 new places for students with SEND – with nearly 750 of these places now open and in use.

Earlier this month, the Chancellor announced a new alternative provision free school, the SENDAT New AP Suffolk Free School, in Bury St Edmunds.

It follows an announcement that Suffolk County Council is set to receive an extra £10.9 million to create new specialists places. Picture: submitted
It follows an announcement that Suffolk County Council is set to receive an extra £10.9 million to create new specialists places. Picture: submitted

Andrew Reid, cabinet member for education and SEND, said:“An additional £10.9m is significant news for Suffolk’s SEND services.

“We know the life-changing impact that a successful special school can have on pupils and families and are committed to making sure that every child in Suffolk reaches their potential.”

Speaking on the news of the new school, Steven Wright, who is a campaigner for change within Suffolk regarding services for children with SEND, said more still needs to be done.

Campainger Steven Wright said this was a long time coming. Picture: submitted
Campainger Steven Wright said this was a long time coming. Picture: submitted

“We always welcome the news of extra capacity, but this is a long time coming,” said Steven.

“It’s a step in the right direction, but this is not enough.

“However, the problem can’t be dealt with by building new schools. Inclusion in mainstream needs to be dealt with and our county is pretty much non exclusive.

“This needs to be tackled from both sides – more capacity and change of attitudes.”

Overall councils in the East of England will receive more than £83m to create new places for young people with SEND or who require alternative provision.

Plans for the how the money will be spent will now be drawn up with education partners.