Lincolnshire

Final backing expected for £50m special needs schools shakeup

Senior county councillors are expected to give final backing to an ambitious £50 million shakeup in special educational needs schools across Lincolnshire.

The move would see up to 500 places created at 10 special schools in the region, as well as two new developments.

It comes as part of a Lincolnshire County Council plan to improve facilities for children with special educational needs and disabilities over the next five years.

Now, senior councillors on the authority’s executive are expected to sign off on the strategy on Tuesday, November 6.

Lincolnshire County Council sign outside head offices on Newland, Lincoln.

Seven academies and three local authority schools will be altered under the plans, including St Christopher’s School and St Francis School in Lincoln.

It will include such changes as increased capacity, relocation and merging of some schools.

The idea for the plan will be to make the schools cater for al needs in order to meet a “wider range of pupils”.

Meanwhile, plans have been submitted to the Department for Education for a new free school in Lincoln.

The authority is also considering another school in the Sleaford and North Kesteven area.

Council officers said there is a “clear need” to expand existing schools and increase places.

Heather Sandy, chief officer for education at Lincolnshire County Council.

Heather Sandy, chief officer for education at the county council, said that the strategy is “ambitious” and will help to meet the needs of parents and pupils.

“What we wanted to do was design a strategy that addressed some of the pressures,” she said.

“We wanted a sustainable strategy where we had Lincolnshire special schools that are fit for purpose and had the buildings and equipment they needed to meet need.

“We also wanted to reduce the journey times that some of our children and young people were having to take.

“They were having to take those journey times because either the schools near them had no places or the school was specialist in an area which did not meet their needs.”

Schools which fall under the plan and their changes are as follows:

  • St Lawrence School, Horncastle – change to cater for all needs and increase capacity from 80 to 150.
  • St Bernard’s School, Louth – change to cater for all needs and increase capacity from 88 to 100.
  • The Eresby School, Spilsby – change to cater for all needs and increase capacity from 64 to 84.
  • The Sandon School and Ambergate Sports College, Grantham – combine to one school across two sites, cater for all needs and increase capacity from 152 to 229.
  • The Priory School and The Garth School, Spalding – combine to one school across two sites, change cater for all needs and increase capacity from 128 to 177.
  • The John Fielding School, Boston – change to cater for all needs, relocate and increase capacity from 56 to 140.
  • Gosberton House Academy, Gosberton – change to cater for all needs.
  • St Francis School, Lincoln – change to cater for all needs and increase capacity from 128 to 173.
  • St Christopher’s School, Lincoln – change to cater for all needs.
  • Willoughby School, Bourne – change to cater for all needs and increase capacity from 80 to 148.

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