top of page

(UK) Cambridgeshire: $72M to add HUNDREDS of more SPED seats

July 7, 2022, BBC News: Council to spend £60m [$72M] expanding SEND provision in Cambridgeshire

N. of London A local authority is to pump more than £60m [$72M] into enhancing provision for children with special needs (SEND). The money will go towards expanding SEND services at five schools across Cambridgeshire, and creating almost 500 school places. Two new special schools will also be built within the next two years - at Alconbury Weald and Gamlingay. Liberal Democrat council leader Lucy Nethsingha said there was a "real need" in the county. The five-year proposals were approved by the council's Children and Young People's Committee. Among the plans are 63 additional places at Samuel Pepys Special School in St Neots by September 2024, an extra 30 places in Wisbech by September 2023, and the expansion of Granta Special School in Linton, near Cambridge, by 20 places. A new 150-place special school has been scheduled for January 2024 for Alconbury Weald, near Huntingdon. In Gamlingay, near St Neots, a new special school is also being considered for 100 to 120 children, including a 10 to 20 space unit for girls, the only one in the county. A new 130-place special school - the Martin Bacon Academy - is already open as part of the new Northstowe development near Cambridge. Meadowgate Academy Special School in Wisbech will also offer 60 more places. Work has also begun to identify a site for another new school in the Fenland village of March, which the council said was "the area with the greatest level of need"….

Joanne Hardwick, head teacher at Samuel Pepys School, said the investment would see admissions increase from 102 to 165 places by September 2024. "The children and young people who come to Samuel Pepys School all have moderate, severe or complex learning disabilities, so it is really important they have their needs met in the most appropriate school placement," she said. Kate Moore, who has three children with autism at the school, said she moved to the area from London to access the specialist care…. "The more we can provide for children within Cambridgeshire, and our own school system, will also save the council money in the long term."

Samuel Pepys Special School in St Neots will get 63 additional spaces by September 2024


bottom of page