Bumper crop of investment for two special schools in Farnborough and Havant

Samuel Cody School in Farnborough and Prospect School in Havant are to benefit from a combined investment of £1.45 million, to improve facilities and create much-needed additional school places for children with special educational needs. The funding for the two projects was approved by Councillor Steve Forster, Hampshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, at his Decision Day on Tuesday, 14 May

May 14 2024

£800,000 of the total agreed investment will fund the expansion of Samuel Cody School, a special school catering for 295 four to 16-year-olds with a wide range of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The expansion will create an extra 43 places, taking the school’s total number of pupils to 338.

The remaining £650,000 will be spent on refurbishments to improve facilities at Prospect School. The school provides education for up to 80 boys aged 11-16 with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs, and Autism Spectrum Condition.

Commenting on the two projects, Councillor Forster said: “Like all Local Authorities nationally, we continue to see a significant and growing need for special school places across Hampshire. We are committed to developing our provision in this area, not only to create more school places but also to ensure that children’s needs are met effectively within good quality settings. The projects I have approved today will do both, delivering more than 40 new special school places – each of them vitally needed - and enhancing our facilities so that children with additional needs can get the very best out of their education.”

The expansion of Samuel Cody will 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 will enable children in Oak Farm Community Pre-School, currently based within the school’s primary block, to relocate to the school’s separate Pavilion building which is also to be refurbished. The proposals for the Pavilion building at Samuel Cody will provide additional accommodation and allow the pre-school to expand their current childcare offer with extra places and longer opening hours, in line with the childcare expansion programme recently announced by Government. The plans follow two consultations – an informal public consultation at the start of this year and more recently, a statutory consultation which closed on 26 April.

Sharon Chinnappa, Headteacher of Samuel Cody School, said: “We welcome this expansion which will deliver much needed additional places, enabling more children with SEND to access a school that most effectively meets their needs. Our school community looks forward to making the very most of the new facilities once complete in the new school year.”

Improvements at Prospect School will focus on making the school’s facilities more suitable to meet pupils’ special educational needs, and to better support their health, wellbeing and readiness for future adulthood. These will include the conversion of various existing spaces into a new life skills room, interactive gaming hub, and a small fitness gym. The school’s food technology room will also be refurbished to provide a training kitchen fitted out to catering college standard. Planned external works will include new outdoor gym equipment and an upgrade to an existing multi-use games area.  

Both projects are expected to complete for the new school year in September 2024, with no requirement for planning permission. Visit the County Council’s website for full details of the plans for Samuel Cody School and Prospect School.