A brand new special needs school in Basingstoke & Deane

A new special school to meet future demand for places for pupils with a social communication need or autistic spectrum disorder is to be built on the site of the former Chineham Park Primary School. This follows a Hampshire County Council decision to invest over £10 million of Government funding to build the school, working with the Department for Education (DfE)

Jul 15 2019

Councillor Roz Chadd, Executive Member for Education and Skills at the County Council, commented: “Support for special educational needs has been very much in the news of late spurred by people’s concern about future funding. I know how hard  the County Council works to ensure all children with special needs in Hampshire receive support to help them learn to the best of their ability; this includes the assistance given to schools so that they make the most of the right resources and learning strategies to enable children and young people with special needs to enjoy and thrive in their education in a mainstream school. 

“However, I recognise that for those with more complex needs, specialist provision is required. Therefore, I am delighted to back the expansion of the county’s range of special education facilities with this brand new, purpose-built school.” 

To be called the Austen Academy, the new school will be operated by the Catch 22 Academy Trust – the sponsor appointed by the DfE. It will have places for 125 children and young people with special educational needs, aged between 5 and 16 years old. Money for the new school was secured by the County Council after it made a successful bid to the DfE for a share of the national Free Schools funding offer. 

The new school has been designed to the DfE’s requirements by the County Council’s award-winning Property Services team. As the DfE’s local delivery partner, the County Council will oversee and monitor the school’s construction from start to finish. Subject to planning approvals being given, it is anticipated that work will begin at the end of 2019 and complete early 2021, with the school opening in Spring 2021.