Work has started on a 54 place special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) school on the site of a former Suffolk primary school.

Education provider Unity Schools Partnership is developing the land that used to be occupied by Maidstone Primary School, Maidstone Road, Felixstowe, to provide a second school for The Bridge School in Ipswich.

The primary school ceased operations in 2022 to merge with nearby Causton Junior School and form the Seckford Education Trust (SET) Felix Primary School.

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The newly-merged school of 310 pupils operates from Causton's premises, which meant the Maidstone site had been left empty.

Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity Schools Partnership, said: “We are looking forward to opening a second building for The Bridge School in Maidstone Road, Felixstowe, and will be offering 54 places for Key Stage 3 and 4 and, from 2025, sixth form students.”

The work is being funded as part of Suffolk County Council's £55 million SEND Capital programme, which aims to provide hundreds of new education placements for SEND children. 

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A county council spokesperson said: "Unity School’s Partnership will be delivering special educational needs places at the former Maidstone Primary School, as an additional site for The Bridge School in Ipswich.

"This will create an additional 44 places from September 2024. This work is being funded as part of Suffolk County Council’s £55million SEND Capital Programme."

The Bridge Special School in Ipswich provides education for children aged between four and 16 with severe learning difficulties. 

READ MORE: Felixstowe news