Date Published: 19 March 2019
Rutland County Council is working with Uppingham Community College to develop a new facility to enable children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to be educated locally, within a mainstream school environment.
The plans for the facility, which are to be submitted later this week, set out how the most accessible central areas of Uppingham Community College will be repurposed to provide a bespoke learning environment for children with SEND. They also show where classrooms will be replaced to ensure there is no overall loss of teaching space for existing students.
Local authorities have a statutory responsibility to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and to ensure sufficient good school places for all pupils, including those with SEND.
Currently, a number of children and young people with SEND attend schools outside of Rutland. It is intended that the new school facility will provide places for up to ten young people who have communication and interaction needs, including those on the Autistic Spectrum, which will enable them to live, to be educated and grow with independence within their community.
The Government has committed £215 million of capital funding to help local authorities create new school places and improve existing facilities for children and young people with SEND, in consultation with parents and providers. Rutland is to receive £848k Capital between 2018 and 2021 to support the £700k Capital project and other projects.
At its meeting on 16th April 2019, Rutland County Council’s Full Cabinet is to also consider the allocation of £200k revenue to support the start-up of the facility.
“It is important that we ensure every young person has access to a good quality education in Rutland. This facility will enable our children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities to not only have access to an excellent education, but also the chance to build relationships and socialise with their peers in an environment that is safe and tailored to their needs.”
David Wilby, Cabinet Member for Education
Should the budget be approved and once planning is agreed, works would start in July 2019 and are anticipated to be completed by January 2020. Ready for a September 2020 intake of Year 7 students.
The works have been phased to ensure minimal disruption to children and young people at the school, to take advantage of key opportunities over summer and Christmas holidays when children are not on site.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for Uppingham Community College and the young people of Rutland. Through this partnership we want to establish a centre of excellence for SEND provision, where young people with communication and interaction needs are integrated into mainstream secondary education.”
Ben Solly, Principal of Uppingham Community College