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(UK) Essex: Plans for 100 place special school ok'd; demand 'outstrips supply'

Feb 23, 2024, BBC News: Essex: Council announces plans to build 'much-needed' Send school

E. England

A plan to create a "much-needed" special needs school for more than 100 pupils has been launched by Essex County Council.

A consultation has been opened over the proposal to build a new special educational needs and disabilities (Send) school in Rayleigh, Essex.

The council and Mark Francois, the MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, have worked together on the project.

Mr Francois said creating the new school would help meet "vital" need. . . .

The plans stated that the school would cater for children between the ages of three and 18.

If planning permission is granted the school could start welcoming children in the 2025/26 academic year

Mr Francois said: "We do not currently have a special needs school anywhere in the Rochford District, so creating this new school in Rayleigh, should help to meet that vital, local need.

"I launched this campaign after meeting many frustrated parents at my constituency surgeries, who were desperate for a special needs place for their child but could not obtain one."

Tony Ball, the council's cabinet member for education excellence, lifelong learning and employability, said: "We know demand for special needs places in south Essex currently outstrips supply, so this exciting new school is specifically designed to help meet this pressing need. . . .

"We now want to hear from the local community about the proposals and I would urge residents to have their say during the consultation."

Martin Leach, a managing director within the Vistry Group which developed Wolsey Park, said the firm was "pleased" Wolsey Park had been chosen as a potential location for a new Send school.


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