Wednesday 17 April 2024
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More places for Nottinghamshire special school

A Nottinghamshire special school will be expanding and opening its doors to more pupils, as part of a recent decision to increase the school’s place provision.

In an exciting development, an extra 35 places are being created at St Giles Special School in Retford, increasing its capacity from 170 to 205 pupil places.

The proposal, which has recently been out to local consultation, is part of Nottinghamshire County Council’s SEND place planning work to provide more special school places to support children and young people, providing the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

The alteration works to the site will allow the school to accommodate more children, and work has begun to identify the pupils who will be offered a place arising from the expansion.

St Giles was identified as suitable for a cost-effective expansion without the need to interrupt the learning of the pupils already on site. This school will continue to offer places to pupils with a range of special needs and has the necessary expertise to support pupils with autistic spectrum condition, a particular priority in Nottinghamshire.

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Councillor Sam Smith, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and SEND, said:

“Helping more young people to access the education they need, near to where they live, is a key aim of our SEND place planning strategy.

“As a council, we are committed to meeting the needs of children and young people with SEND, and their families, and to investing in providing much-needed special school places in Nottinghamshire.”

St Giles Special School is a local authority maintained special school and has been rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted since 2020 where pupils told inspectors that “staff are supportive and help us when and where they can. They never fail.”

The school’s Principal, Matt Rooney, said: “we’ve been growing year on year since 2020 and we’re really excited for our future. This additional capacity will enable us to welcome even more children and young people with special educational needs & disabilities (SEND) into our school family.

“There is a high demand for high quality special school provision, and we are being inundated with requests for places at our school every week. We are determined to play our part to raise aspiration and improve outcomes & life-chances for even more children with SEND.”

“However, additional places are only one part of the solution. We are committed to continue to support our colleagues, who do a great job in mainstream schools, to meet the everchanging needs of pupils with SEND.”

From 2021 to 2023, the county council has provided an additional 97 specialist educational places, with an investment of more than £5m. The council has also contributed to the Department for Education’s rebuild of Yeoman Park Academy to secure an additional 28 places by early 2025, and the local authority will build a new special school in the Mansfield area, which will provided up to 160 additional places.

  • Read more: Demand for mental health services in schools growing

  • Read more: Catchment areas for three Nottinghamshire schools expanded

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