At her Decision Day, Councillor Roz Chadd, the County Council’s Executive Member for Education and Stills, commented: “Demand for places for children with special educational needs and disabilities is rising and, as this is set to increase still further, I can see there is strong justification for replacing the current two temporary classrooms with more permanent accommodation. Therefore, I have no hesitation in agreeing this investment.”
In addition to the new classrooms, the funding will also allow for an occupational therapy room and a space for one to one supported learning to be built, together with additional dining area, storage and new toilet facilities.
Outside, new outdoor learning spaces will be created for the new classrooms and additional parking spaces will be provided for staff and visitors.
Work is expected to start during summer 2020, with the extended accommodation and facilities completed in the spring term 2021. During construction, school will operate as usual, with steps in place to minimise, as far as possible, disruption to teaching and learning.
Shepherds Down School provides education for up to 158 children aged between 4 and 11 years old with a range of speech, language and communication needs, moderate learning difficulties, severe learning difficulties and autistic spectrum disorders. The school has recently expanded by 20 pupils - these additional children are currently being taught in temporary classrooms until the expansion is completed.