Hampshire County Council to consider additional special educational needs support for children in Waterlooville, Winchester and Farnborough

More children with special educational needs could soon benefit from additional specialist support, as Hampshire County Council seeks to progress proposals for three schools in Waterlooville, Winchester and Farnborough

Mar 18 2024

Like all Local Authorities nationally, the County Council continues to face rising demand for special educational needs provision and, as a result, is having to make more use of expensive independent non-maintained settings. The County Council remains committed to expanding its directly provided in-school provision across Hampshire, including within mainstream schools, in response to these pressures and most importantly, to support children with additional needs to learn closer to home wherever possible.

Councillor Steve Forster, the County Council’s Executive Member for Education, will be asked at his upcoming Decision Day on Tuesday, 26 March to consider the following three recommendations:

Additional specialist provision for Riverside Community Special School, Waterlooville

To approve additional specialist provision for Riverside Community Special School, to be based at nearby Mill Hill Primary School.

If agreed, this would support up to an additional 12 primary aged pupils with severe learning difficulties, taking the school’s total number of children from 137 to 149 from April / May 2024.

A total of £410,000 in capital funding has been earmarked for the project, to create appropriate learning spaces and facilities using surplus accommodation at Mill Hill Primary School.

Expansion of Shepherds Down School, Winchester

To proceed to a statutory consultation on the proposed £800,000 capital expansion of Shepherds Down School.

Subject to the outcome of the consultation, the expansion would provide a two-classroom modular building catering for an additional 20 primary aged pupils with severe learning difficulties and Autistic Spectrum Condition. This would take the school’s number of pupils from 170 to 190, from September 2024.

Samuel Cody School, Farnborough

To proceed to a statutory consultation on the proposed £800,000 capital expansion of Samuel Cody School.

Subject to the outcome of the consultation, the expansion would be achieved by refurbishing and reconfiguring some currently underused spaces in the primary block of the school, providing two new classrooms and other new facilities.

At the same time, this would enable children in Oak Farm Community Pre-School, currently based within the school’s primary block, to move to larger accommodation on the school site with its own entrance and play area.

Together, the changes would increase the combined number of children across the school’s sites from 295 to 338, from September 2024.

The requests for statutory consultations on both Shepherds Down and Samuel Cody follow two informal public consultations which ran from 25 January to 23 February. Feedback from these initial consultations will be presented to Councillor Forster alongside the recommendations to proceed to statutory consultations. If agreed, Public Notices would be published on the County Council’s website, allowing parents, the local community and others with an interest in the schools to give their views on the proposed expansions.

Overall funding for all three projects is outlined in the Children’s Services Capital Programme for 2024-2027, approved by the County Council in February 2024.

Visit the County Council’s website for full details of the above proposals.