Proposal to increase the capacity of Riverside Community Special School, Waterlooville - Consultation

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Hampshire County Council would like to hear your views on the proposal to increase the capacity for Riverside Community Special School

Riverside Community Special School is currently a 105 place special school for 3-11 year old pupils with ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder and MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty. The County Council is proposing to increase the capacity of the school by adding an additional 12 places. This will give a final overall capacity of 117 places at Riverside Community Special School.

Riverside Community Special School is successfully meeting the needs of children with a range of ASD and MLD difficulties in a safe and secure environment.

To accommodate the increased number of places, it is proposed that an additional double modular building will be installed on site at Riverside Community Special School. The modular building will be used as teaching accommodation to enable more children to attend the school.

Reason for proposal

Hampshire County Council is committed to expanding successful provision where possible to meet demand. Currently there is an increased need to provide support for pupils with ASD and MLD difficulties in this area of the county. This proposal will provide much needed specialist educational capacity to meet this increased need.

Where a Local Authority proposes to permanently enlarge a special school’s capacity by 10% or more it must follow a procedure set out by the Department for Education.

The Consultation

The primary purpose of this consultation is to seek the view of consultees on the principle of increasing the school capacity to meet the demand for additional special school places in the local area. We understand that you may have some questions regarding how the school building will be adapted to accommodate additional pupils and whether there will be an impact on travel to and from the school as a result of accommodating additional pupils. Both of these aspects are important but at this stage these details will not be available as we need to obtain approval to the expansion before detailed work commences. It is important to hear your views at this stage so we can consider them as part of the detailed work to be undertaken should approval to increase the capacity of the school be obtained.

This consultation will run from the 25 February to the 25 March 2019. Officers will then take into consideration all the consultation responses received before deciding whether the proposal should continue to the formal publication stage.

If so, a statutory Public Notice will be published, setting out Hampshire County Council’s intent to increase the capacity of the school. It is anticipated that this will be published in April 2019.

After the date of publication there will be a four week period in which any representations can be made to the local authority. After the conclusion of this period the County Council will decide whether or not to proceed with the proposal. It is anticipated that a decision will be made in May 2019.

Further information

A drop-in session where you will be able to discuss the proposal with Hampshire County Council officers will take place on the 13 March 2019 between 3pm and 5pm at Riverside Community Special School, Waterlooville.

The proposed building plans are currently being developed with the Headteacher and governing body.

Frequently asked questions

If you are unable to attend this session or visit the above website and wish to make a comment then please write to Claire Campling, SEN Service Manager, Children’s Services Department, EII Court North, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8UG or e-mail  by the 25 March 2019.