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03 April 2019

Meetings will explore vision for special schools in Wiltshire

We want to work with families and staff to find a solution that both meets the need for additional places, improves outcomes for children and young people with special needs and disabilities who are educated in our mainstream schools, as well as special schools

Terence Herbert, corporate director children and education

Wiltshire Council is hosting additional face to face discussions with schools and families on how to best invest at least £20m into providing special school education in the future.
 
Last week the council extended the consultation into how Wiltshire can prepare for the additional 220 places needed as well as providing excellent provision into the future.
 
As part of the consultation which will now end on 6 May 2019, Wiltshire Council is hosting meetings with schools and families on:
 
5 April 10:30am 12 noon at Hardenhuish School, Chippenham
2 May 6:30pm 8pm at John of Gaunt School, Trowbridge
3 May 10:30am 12 noon in Devizes venue to be confirmed.
 
The meetings will be a further opportunity for face to face discussions on potential options. The previous proposal to close the three special schools, Rowdeford, Larkrise and St Nicholas and to build a new school at Rowdeford remains an option.  However, Wiltshire Council will take into consideration all responses which differ from those as part of an inclusive and wide-ranging reconsideration of consultation submissions.

People who would like to attend one of these events can email Specialschools@wiltshire.gov.uk to book a place.
 
Terence Herbert, corporate director children and education said: "The extended consultation is an opportunity to work together to secure the best future education for our children and young people with SEND. Our schools in the north are full and overall we will need additional spaces by 2023. We want to work with families and staff to find a solution that both meets the need for additional places, improves outcomes for children and young people with special needs and disabilities who are educated in our mainstream schools, as well as special schools.  These meetings will be an opportunity to work together on providing our children with a first class education into the future."
 
People are encouraged to have their say on the consultation which will be live until 6 May 2019.
 
The council will now treat all previous consultation responses received between 9 January 2019 and 1 March 2019 as part of a pre-publication consultation. This means they are part of an initial consultation on what proposals should be published for further consideration.  This is a process with a number of steps, and the council is re-opening the first stage. 
 
Responses already provided to the council will be automatically considered as pre-publication consultation, and do not need to be resubmitted. If you would like to submit further information, please note that this can be forwarded to specialschools@wiltshire.gov.uk.
 
A new decision on the steps to be taken should then be made by the council's cabinet this summer, which means that the timetable for future SEND provision will still be met.

Last updated: 3 April 2019 | Last reviewed: 3 April 2019

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