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(UK) Havering: $43M special school for 300 planned

Feb 26, 2024, Romford Recorder: Havering Council moving forward with new Gidea Park special school

E. London

Havering Council has moved to the next stage of its plans to build a new special school in Gidea Park.

The 300-place school will cater to children aged four to 19 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and could be built on Balgores Field starting next year. . . . 
The whole project is expected to cost around £33.4million [$43M], which the council said it would be spending out of its basic needs funds.

The move comes after a council report pointed out a steady increase across all areas of SEND needs in Havering’s schools.

The current capacity in schools, the report said, was not enough to meet these needs with an increase from 557 SEND children in mainstream provision in 2018 to 904 in 2022.

This is forecast to rise to 1,627 in 2025 and 2,388 in 2029.

The current special schools in the borough - Lime Academy Ravensbourne, Lime Academy Forest Approach and Corbets Tey – are all “up to capacity”, the report said, and will not be able to absorb the rise in demand. . . .

"The current spread and capacity of povision is not equipped to meet the needs of our children and deliver what they and their families want, need and deserve."

The council believes the creation of 300 places at a new special school within Havering will result in fewer pupils being placed at more expensive schools outside the borough. . . . 


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