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£1.45m for special schools in Farnborough and Havant

Hampshire County Council agrees investment to improve existing SEND facilities and create a further 43 places.

This week, Cllr Steve Forster, Cabinet Member for Education at Hampshire County Council, approved combined investment of £1.45m in two special schools in Farnborough and Havant.

boy in red crew neck t-shirt sitting beside boy in blue crew neck t-shirt

Photo by CDC

Samuel Cody School in Farnborough has been allocated £800,000 of this money to expand its existing provision for 295 children aged four to 16-year-olds with a range of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The additional 43 places created will take the school’s total capacity to 338.

Spaces in the school’s primary block that are currently underused will be refurbished and reconfigured to provide two new classrooms and other facilities. At the moment, that primary block is home to Oak Farm Community Pre-School; children there will be relocated in the school’s separate Pavilion building, which will also see refurbishment to provide additional accommodation. That will enable to the pre-school to offer extra places and longer opening hours, in line with the government’s programme to expand childcare provision more generally.

Prospect School in Havant, which provides education for up to 80 boys aged 11 to 16 with SEND, is to receive £650,000 for refurbishments that will improve facilities to better meet student needs and support their health, well-being and readiness for future adulthood. This work will include converting existing spaces into a new life skills room, interactive gaming hub and small fitness gym. Refurbishment of the school’s existing food technology room will provide a training kitchen that is fitted out to catering college standard. Plans for external work include new outdoor gym equipment and the upgrade of the existing multi-use games area. 

Both projects are expected to be completed in time for the start of the new school year this September.

Cllr Forster says: ‘Like all local authorities nationally, we continue to see a significant and growing need for special school places across Hampshire. We are committed to developing our provision in this area, not only to create more school places but also to ensure that children’s needs are met effectively within good quality settings. The projects I have approved today will do both, delivering more than 40 new special school places – each of them vitally needed – and enhancing our facilities so that children with additional needs can get the very best out of their education.’

Sharon Chinnappa, Headteacher of Samuel Cody School, adds: ‘We welcome this expansion which will deliver much needed additional places, enabling more children with SEND to access a school that most effectively meets their needs. Our school community looks forward to making the very most of the new facilities once complete in the new school year.’

In related news:

Supporting youth mental health through physical activity

Scottish government urged to deliver better support for child victims of violence

The cost of safety valve: ‘widespread’ failing in Bury SEND provision

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