PLANS for a new school for pupils with special educational needs and or disabilities (SEND) in south Wiltshire are moving forward.
The Department for Education has agreed that Reach South Academy Trust, which runs a site in Salisbury, will operate the new school in the south of the county.
However, Wiltshire Council says “details on where the new school will be based are due to be shared shortly”.
Reach South runs Springfields Academy which is based across two sites in Calne and at Sarum Academy in Salisbury. The Salisbury site is known as Springfields South and opened in February 2019 for pupils with ASD and SEMH.
Councillor Laura Mayes, the council’s cabinet member for children, education and skills, said: “This new school is going to make a huge difference to those families with SEND children in south Wiltshire. We are delighted that Reach South, with many years of experience, will be at the helm of an exciting new future.”
Last April it was announced there would be a new free school for 150 pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) in the south of the county.
This, the council says, will prevent the need for pupils to travel long distances to access the right educational setting to meet their needs.
The new school, which will teach children aged four to 19, and will have “strong links” with mainstream schools, nurseries and children’s centres.
Dean Ashton, the CEO of Reach South Academy Trust said: “The school will build safe, independent lives for pupils through support, understanding and enablement
“We have high aspirations and expectations and we are excited to work in close partnership with Wiltshire Council and to support their work to deliver a system of excellence to ensure that all children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Wiltshire have access to a first class education.
“We’re committed to outreach and we want to support other schools and the local community, particularly parents and families. Our curriculum will be about breadth and challenge offering practical, multi-sensory, and real life experiences.”
Springfields South already works closely with Magna Learning Partnership and Exeter House School in Salisbury, which supports pupils with complex needs.