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Grantham special schools could join up under new proposals

A new classroom at Ambergate is craned in.
A new classroom at Ambergate is craned in.

Two Grantham special schools could join up if proposals on special education are agreed.

A consultation has been launched on new proposals to address many of the challenges pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families face when trying to access the right education, in the right place at the right time.

The county council has been working with all special school headteachers, chairs of governors of special schools and the Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum to develop a new model for special education.

Professionals, governors, parents, carers, families and children are being consulted about the new strategy and vision which includes individual consultations in schools and through the Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum as well as public meetings set up by the county council.

The final consultation meeting took place at Ambergate Sports College in Grantham earlier this month.

James Ellis, headteacher of Ambergate, supports the project. He said: “The SEND project that is currently being consulted on in Lincolnshire will significantly improve not only the capacity of special schools but also the quality of provision for pupils. The proposal for Grantham is that Ambergate and Sandon School amalgamate into one school over two sites. The two schools have for many years provided provision for pupils with all needs, including Autism, and will continue to do so under this proposal. The school is looking forward to this potentially very exciting venture and looks forward to continuing to provide outstanding provision for all pupils.”

Stela Plamenova, Headteacher of Sandon School. added: “I’m very excited and impressed with the proposed SEND reforms in Lincolnshire. Like other schools in the county we have a long waiting list and children travelling up to two hours to access education. The proposed reforms will bring a major capital investment to our school which will enable us to modernise the current buildings and offer more pupil places.”

All interested parties are being urged to comment through a survey on the council’s website at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/SENDcommunities or people can email their comments or enquiries at SENDCommunities@lincolnshire.gov.uk

No child will be forced to change school if parents don’t want them to. However, with only 30 per cent of pupils with SEND currently attending their nearest school, under the new proposals children will have the chance to attend a school in their local community if that is possible.

Coun Mrs Patricia Bradwell, Executive Councillor for Children’s Services, said: “All children have the right to access education as near to their local community as possible and we are fully committed to working with our schools, parents and families to help realise this ambition.

“These are significant changes which aim to bring accessible inclusive education in all communities, minimal travel, enhanced provision and increased number of school places. We want all children to be able to access high quality education and achieve their potential, as near to their family and local community as possible.”

Coralie Cross, Chair of the Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum, said: “Together with the county council, we are working in partnership with special schools to improve provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. We want to ensure community special schools can meet the need of all pupils no matter what their specific disabilities may be and increase support to children and young people in mainstream school.

“But it’s important we hear from parents, carers and children about our proposals as they are at the heart of SEND provision. Don’t forget to have your say by completing the survey online and check out details of the consultation events in the county.”

Full details can be found at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/SENDcommunities

For more details please contact Jacki Bartram on 07860 503281 or email jacki.bartram@citacademies.co.uk


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