Statutory consultations will be opening on Friday 25 March about the proposed expansions of Henry Tyndale School in Farnborough and Norman Gate School in Andover, as well as proposed refurbishments to Pinewood Infant School also in Farnborough. If approved, the proposals would help to expand and improve provision in Hampshire for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Speaking at her Decision Day on Wednesday 23 March, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Roz Chadd, said: “Specialist school places for children with special educational needs and disabilities are high in demand. Therefore, following the initial phases of consultation, I am pleased to approve statutory consultations on the proposed changes to the three schools.”
The proposal for Henry Tyndale School is to create a satellite extension of the school, to be located at the former Park Children’s Centre, Aldershot. The facility would meet the needs of an additional 35 primary aged pupils who are on the Autistic Spectrum or who have severe learning difficulties. This would take the Henry Tyndale school’s existing 153 places up to 188 from September 2023.
The proposal for Norman Gate School - a primary special school for children aged 2-11 with moderate learning difficulties – is to repurpose the school’s existing food technology space into a general teaching classroom, with the food technology space relocated to elsewhere in the school. This would provide accommodation for an additional 12 pupils who are on the Autism Spectrum or who have moderate learning difficulties. Upgrades of toilet facilities and additional car parking are also proposed.
Pinewood Infant School is a community school that has an existing resourced provision for children with speech, language and communication needs. A refurbishment is proposed that would convert the school’s existing music space into a specialist classroom and sensory space. This would create a new resourced provision from September 2022 for pupils who are on the Autistic spectrum. An area for emotional literacy support would also be provided for all school pupils.
If the proposals are taken forward, the schemes would support the County Council’s commitment to increase provision for children across the county who have special educational needs and disabilities. With the number of Education, Health and Care Plans having risen from 5,558 to 12,456 between 2015-16 and November 2021, the additional places would help to relieve pressures for school places for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.
Following the agreement to consult on the proposals, public notices will be published on Hampshire County Council’s website and at the schools from 25 March and will allow six weeks to submit feedback. The Decision Report and recommendation can be found on the Council Meetings section of the County Council’s website.