Councillors back plan for new £7 million SEN school in Doncaster

Councillors have backed plans for a new £7 million school for children with special educational needs in Doncaster.

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 4:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 4:51 pm

Councillors have backed plans for a new £7 million school for children with special educational needs in Doncaster.

The school, which will provide 100 places and be based on land at Hungerhill Enterprise Park in Edenthorpe, will be administered by Maltby-based Nexus Multi Academy Trust.

Council bosses are now in negotiations with the Government's Education and Skills Funding Agency to secure the money for the project.

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Education bosses at Doncaster Council had previously identified a shortfall in provision within the borough for specialist places for young people complex needs, such as pupils with 'high functioning autism spectrum disorder and Asperger's syndrome.

The Department for Education invited councils in 2016 to establish new special schools in their area and a new SEN school bid was put forward in November 2016 for children with a communication and interaction need aged 5-19.

The bid included provision of a site for the school by the council on the basis of a peppercorn rent with a 125 year lease. The provision is to provide up to 80 places for use by Doncaster Council, as well as 20 places for usage by pupils in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley.

The council was notified of its successful bid in May 2017 and hopes to formally hand over the school to the academy chain to open in September 2019.

Doncaster historically had a special school for autistic children at Rossington Hall. But it was closed in 2008 as part of a re-organisation of special education.

At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, deputy Mayor Glyn Jones said: "I wholeheartedly welcome this initiative. We have a number of young people who under the current regime, I wouldn't say are failed but certainly need additional requirements to help them succeed.

"A good point from this is that it's being funded nationally so it's great stuff, bring it on."

Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones added: "I'm delighted to see what's come through because it is going to help our young people with their aspirations."