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(UK) Chatham: Plans submitted to EXPAND special needs unit

Sept 29, 2023, KentOnLine: Victory Academy in Chatham submits plans to Medway Council for sixth form unit and SEN centre

SE England

Plans have been put forward to expand a secondary school, with a new special educational needs centre to meet increasing demand for places.

If approved, the new SEN unit at Victory Academy in Chatham would have space for 25 pupils, while a proposed new sixth form block would have capacity for 214 pupils.

A planning statement from consultants Bailey Partnership said: “Medway Council is looking to build an SEN unit and a 6th form centre at the academy to deliver the schools expansion scheme.

“A continuing trend for increased placement requests for special educational needs (SEN) students at Medway Council has resulted in the need to create additional resourced units in existing mainstream schools to accommodate the increasing demand for student placement in the area.”…

The academy was unable to provide information on the planned cost of the expansion, or whether the new centres would be for extra or existing pupils.

A statement issued on behalf of the school said: “We are always looking at how we can help and support more young people in our community. As such, we are in early conversations with Medway Council to explore the possibility of providing a Special Educational Needs and Disability resource provision on-site, alongside the local authority, to support students with additional needs from across the region…. The city of Bristol in southwest England has a problem. Just when it seemed like councils in England had bottomless cashboxes to spend on special needs students, it looks like they don’t.

The school budget in Bristol, a city of half a million residents, will be $71 million in the red by this coming March. AND if things don’t improve, predictions are the deficit could reach $155 million in five years.


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