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(UK) Richmond: Special school "oversubscribed": expansion planned

Jan 11, 2024, My London:  Oversubscribed Richmond special needs school will be expanded to tackle 'urgent' need for places
The new campus aims to open from September 2024
A school for children with special educational needs will be expanded in South West London to meet an 'urgent' need for specialist places in the borough. A former nursery and caretaker's house will be demolished so the new campus for Strathmore School, run by The Auriga Academy Trust, can be built at Hampton High in Hampton.
The new campus on Hanworth Road will be for 25 pupils aged 11 to 19 with severe and complex learning difficulties. Richmond Council's planning committee unanimously approved the plans on January 10.

Sarah Hurtado, headteacher of Strathmore School, said the school is already split across four campuses in Richmond and at full capacity. She said: "Strathmore’s been oversubscribed for some years which means we’re unable to provide places for all the local children with severe and complex learning difficulties and this means, unfortunately, children have to attend schools outside the borough, further from their home community, with longer journey times."

Ms Hurtado said the new campus will provide the same facilities as the school's existing campuses and "possibilities for greater inclusiveness" by working with Hampton High. Henry Kilpin, associate director for school place planning at children's services provider Achieving for Children (AfC), described the site as an "ideal opportunity" to create another site for Strathmore. He said AfC had identified the need for more specialist school places locally "as a matter of urgency" - with a current shortfall of 229 places in Richmond.

Mr Kilpin said: "All the special schools within the borough are currently filled. As a result, we’re struggling to place any new pupils in special schools within the borough. Places in neighbouring local authority special schools are also at full capacity."


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