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(UK) Shaftesbury: Headteacher named for "fantastic" new special school

Updated: Oct 17, 2021

Oct 15, 2021,Dorset Council: Headteacher joins new school in Shaftesbury

S. central England Katie Charles has been appointed as the Headteacher of Dorset Council’s new school for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). The new school is a cornerstone of the Dorset Centre of Excellence project which is taking shape on the former St Mary’s School site in Shaftesbury. It is in a development phase with fantastic facilities being created to improve the lives of Dorset children with SEND, and to reduce future costs. Katie is looking forward to welcoming the students. She said: “I can’t wait to see students enjoying their learning at this wonderful site. It will open in 2022, with an initially small cohort of children, which will grow to around 280 students over the next five years…. Our new school is part of a family of amazing special schools in Dorset and I look forward to joining them in providing even more high quality education provision to meet growing needs.” Cllr Andrew Parry, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Early Help, said: “I am delighted to welcome Katie to the team. “We seized the opportunity in April 2021 to create this new SEND school for Dorset and I am proud we’ve come so far in such a short time. These are exciting times for education in Dorset and we are determined to make the county the best place in which to grow up. “Our ambitious vision of investing in this new school will reduce spending in the longer term because it costs so much more to send a child away for private specialist educational provision…. Dorset Council took the step of securing the extensive site to meet the growing need for more high-quality special education provision. The new school is part of the council’s wider £37.5 million [$52M] plan to improve the lives of Dorset children with SEND. More provision is also being created at existing special and mainstream schools.


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