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New head, new school as special schools project in the north takes major step forward

SEND pupils in north Wiltshire will be part of a new school when they take up their places in class next week.

Published 28 August 2020
Consultation on special schools draws to a close next week

Pupils with special educational needs and or disabilities in North Wiltshire will be part of a new school when they take up their places in class next week.
On 1 September a new single school will be created across the three sites of Larkrise, Rowdeford and St. Nicholas, using the working name of North Wiltshire School.
September marks the beginning of a new and exciting stage of the work together to create a new school across the three sites that supports Wiltshire children and their parents and carers, promoting inclusion and excellence in teaching and learning
Sean McKeown has been appointed as interim executive head and will have a key role supporting the new school in its transformation. The rest of the senior leadership team within all three sites will remain the same, and the current headteachers will continue to be responsible for the day-to-day running of their school sites.  
Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills said: "The new name and new executive headteacher role marks an important chapter in our longer term plans for special school provision in north Wiltshire.
"Sean will be working closely with the Full Governing Board to lead the new school in an exciting period of development. He will be working closely with existing staff, including the senior leadership teams of the three sites, to ensure this is a joint effort across all three sites.
"Our pupils will be at their usual school sites and their headteacher will be welcoming them back so it will feel very much as before. However, we will also all be working together as one school with the longer term vision to create a first class education for our pupils and this will be something we engage everyone in to make it a success."
Sean has been a registered Ofsted Inspector for five years and has a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and Innovation. 
He said: "I am excited for the challenge of leading the school in the next few months. I have a strong passion for developing leaders and raising achievement for all pupils. Curriculum planning is at the heart of my work, ensuring that the quality of education is exceptional and providing pupils with the sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment." 
Earlier this 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 SEND pupils 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. 


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