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Community invited to have their say at first viewing of early plans for new school build

Interested residents are being invited to hear about early plans for a new school build which will help provide places for hundreds of SEND pupils in North Wiltshire.

Published 3 November 2020
Consultation on special schools draws to a close next week

Interested residents are being invited to hear about early plans for a new school build which will help provide places for hundreds of SEND pupils in North Wiltshire.

Information about the build at the Rowde school site will be shared in a virtual event on 11 November from 6pm and the local community is being invited to attend.

The event will include how the school will meet pupil needs, how it will be made sustainable and built to achieve net zero carbon in operation, and how it will benefit the community in terms of employment and facilities.

A full planning application will be submitted in spring of next year and will be shaped by feedback from this event and another to be held in January, as local people and families involved in the school have their say.

The £33m programme which will deliver up to 400 places on the Rowde site, will be a major step forward in creating a first class and inclusive education for SEND pupils and their families in North Wiltshire.

On 1 September 2020 the three school sites  of Larkrise, Rowdeford and St. Nicholas came together as one school with the working name of North Wiltshire School. A new name for the school will be decided before the end of 2020 after the three school communities came up with suggestions.

Sean McKeown was appointed as interim executive headteacher and has a key role supporting the new school in its transformation alongside the senior leadership team within all three sites, with the current headteachers being responsible for the day-to-day running of their school sites. 

Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills said: "Sharing these early ideas with the local community is an important part of the process. Although it would not be right to have a physical event due to COVID-19 we are looking forward to people joining us online so their feedback can help shape the design in the future.

"We already have had a series of workshops with parents and the three schools to capture the ideas of the school community - now we're taking that out wider and looking forward to hearing back from locals in the Rowde area. We want local people to join in the discussion early and be part of the process."

In the summer it was announced contractors Willmott Dixon will oversee the work to invest £33m to build the school and provide up to 400 places for pupils with SEND, aged from early years to post-16, on the Rowdeford site by September 2023. The involvement of children from all three sites and the wider school community was included in the contract as their views are important to how the project will go forward.

The new facilities will operate as a "school within a school."  There will be  a community of small teaching clusters that will provide a range of specialist teaching spaces, therapeutic support, and quiet dining.

Each cluster will be designed to offer plenty of space to move around while maximising natural daylight and ventilation to create an airy feel. In addition there will be a hydrotherapy pool and outdoor learning provision. The new facilities both internally and externally will be fully accessible for all pupils at the school.

Main construction works are expected to start in Summer 2021 and be complete for Sept 2023. 

People are invited to attend the online event on 11 November from 6pm. To attend please email specialschools@wiltshire.gov.uk

Published 3 November 2020
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