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Opening dates and sponsor trusts announced for Suffolk’s new SEND schools

PUBLISHED: 05:30 30 October 2020

The new Sir Bobby Robson School - one of four SEND schools planned for Suffolk - has opened this year. Picture: GOODERHAM PR

The new Sir Bobby Robson School - one of four SEND schools planned for Suffolk - has opened this year. Picture: GOODERHAM PR

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Sponsor trusts have been announced for two new special schools being built in Suffolk under £45million plans to create hundreds of new places.

Suffolk County Council cabinet member for education Mary Evans said the new SEND schools were about helping meet the demand for appropriate places. Picture: GREGG BROWNSuffolk County Council cabinet member for education Mary Evans said the new SEND schools were about helping meet the demand for appropriate places. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A new special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) facility being established on the former Bungay Middle School site for pupils with communication needs will be run by the East Anglian Schools Trust, which runs Kesgrave, Bungay and Farlingaye high schools.

In the Moreton Hall area of Bury St Edmunds, Unity Schools Partnership will establish a school for pupils who need additional social, emotional and mental health support.

MORE: Where first 10 SEND units have opened in Suffolk

Both will cater for 80 pupils aged between nine and 16.

It marks the latest step forward in Suffolk County Council’s £45m plan to create more than 800 new SEND school places, which includes 36 units being created at existing mainstream schools, and two other SEND schools – Paradigm Trust’s Woodbridge Road school being established in Ipswich and the Sir Bobby Robson School, also run by Unity, which opened in Ipswich in September.

Land off Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, to be used for new special school to be run by Paradigm Trust from September 2022.  Picture: RACHEL EDGELand off Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, to be used for new special school to be run by Paradigm Trust from September 2022. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Councillor Mary Evans, cabinet member for education at the council, said: “It’s all part of making sure we give the best service we can with children and young people, and where education has not been as inclusive as it should have been.”

Mrs Evans said the new schools will allow some of the demand on SEND places to be satisfied, and children to be educated in schools that can provide the support they need.

The Bungay school is due to open in September next year. Trust bosses said they would be in a position to unveil more details over the coming weeks.

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The SEND schools in Bury and Woodbridge Road will both open in 2022.

MORE: Plans lodged for Moreton Hall SEND school

Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Suffolk County Council on increasing the number of places in special schools for children who need this specialist education.

“We were delighted to be approved to open the new special school in Moreton Hall, Bury St Edmunds.

“We have just opened Sir Bobby Robson School, a new special school in Ipswich, and we are very pleased with how this is already benefitting local students.

The Former Bungay Middle school site will be overhauled for a new SEND school being run by East Anglian Schools Trust. Picture: NICK BUTCHERThe Former Bungay Middle school site will be overhauled for a new SEND school being run by East Anglian Schools Trust. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

“We will use the experience of opening the Sir Bobby Robson School when we open the special school in Moreton Hall, scheduled for September 2022.”

The first 10 SEND units attached to mainstream schools opened in September, and have already started paying dividends for children being taught there.

Judith Mobbs, assistant director for inclusion and skills at the county council, said: “It’s absolutely brilliant the impact that they are already having.

“You create a community for those SEND children rather than sending them out of the area.

Judith Mobbs, assistant director for inclusion and skills at Suffolk County Council, said the new SEND units were already making a difference for pupils and families. Picture: SCCJudith Mobbs, assistant director for inclusion and skills at Suffolk County Council, said the new SEND units were already making a difference for pupils and families. Picture: SCC

MORE: Locations revealed for new Suffolk SEND schools

“We are really delighted and will be announcing the next tranche soon, but we are on track to create a significant number of additional places.”


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