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Consultation on ten countywide special needs bases

07 January 2020

A consultation opened on Tuesday 7 January in respect of an ambitious plan to create around 142 new learning places at ten mainstream schools for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The proposal is for the new places to be provided at specialist referral bases at ten different locations across the county. Known as SRBs, these operate as part of mainstream schools, providing access to special needs classes.

The plan is part of Norfolk County Council’s £120m transformation of special educational needs. The programme seeks to create 500 extra school places by building up to four new specialist schools and expanding existing SRBs or building new ones.

Cabinet Member for Children’s Services at Norfolk County Council, John Fisher said: “This is yet another step forward in our pledge to transform education for children with special needs."

"It’s great news that the proposed new SRBs will be at mainstream primary and secondary schools in nine different villages and towns right across the county.

“Youngsters with special educational needs (SEN) can be educated effectively in a range of mainstream or specialist settings. These extra SRB places as part of mainstream schools will provide more choice for families looking for that extra support for their child to thrive in a mainstream school.

“It is a central aim of our transformation programme to reduce travel time for children and their families and provide extra SEN support in mainstream schools and this proposal does just that."

Five new SRBs are planned to be for children with autism with four being brand new and the remaining one the replacement and expansion of an existing pod facility. These youngsters would attend the SRB for all their education. Four SRBs would be for children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs and the remaining base would be for youngsters with learning and cognition needs. Children with either SEMH or learning and cognition needs would stay on the roll of the home school and attend the SRB for anywhere between two and four terms before reintegrating back into their home school on a full-time basis.

The County Council has been working with governors and senior leaders from schools across Norfolk, including local authority-maintained schools and Academy Trusts to establish the right provision in the right place to ensure improved access to SEND school places. Where possible it is planned for places to be available from 1 September 2020, although this is subject to a number of factors.

The consultation is open from Tuesday 7 January to Tuesday 4 February 2020. You can have your say by visiting the Citizenspace website.

Printed copies of the consultation document can also be requested by emailing or writing to School Organisation Team, FREEPOST IH 2076, Floor 8 (Bay 34), County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich NR1 2DH.

Individual schools and academy trusts will be holding drop-in events where you can come and find out more about these proposals. The dates, time and locations are as follows:


Redcastle Family School, St Martins Way, Thetford, IP24 3PU

Proposal – New 16 place autism SRB 

  • Friday 10 January 2020, 2.30–3.30pm at Redcastle Family School
  • Wednesday 15 January 2020, 5.30–6.30pm, Redcastle Family School

Thetford Academy, (Inspiration Trust) Croxton Road, Thetford IP24 1LH

Proposal – New 16 place autism SRB

  • Wednesday 15 January 2020, 3–4pm, Thetford Academy
  • Monday 20 January 2020, 6–7pm, Thetford Academy

Drake Primary School, Fairfields, Thetford IP24 1JW

Proposal – replace existing pod provision with a 16 place autism SRB

  • Friday 10 January 2020, 9–10am at Drake Primary School
  • Thursday 16 January 2020, 5–6pm at Drake Primary School

East Norfolk

Caister Infant and Nursery School and Caister Junior School, Kingston Avenue, Caister-on-sea, Great Yarmouth NR30 5ET

Proposal – New 16 place SEMH SRB

  • Thursday 16 January 2020, 2.30–3.30pm at Caister Infant School
  • Tuesday 21 January 2020, 6–7pm, Caister Junior School


Arden Grove Infant School, (Wensum Trust), Arden Grove, Hellesdon NR6 6QA

Proposal – New 16 place SEMH SRB

  • Thursday 16 January 2020, 6-7pm at Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School 
  • Friday 17 January 2020, 9–10am, Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School

Edith Cavell Academy and Nursery (Boudica Schools Trust) Duckett Close, Norwich NR1 2LR

Proposal – New 16 place SEMH SRB

  • Monday 13 January 2020, 9–10am, Edith Cavell Academy
  • Wednesday 22 January 2020, 3–4pm, Edith Cavell Academy

Wensum Junior Academy (Evolution Academy Trust), Turner Road, Norwich NR2 4HB

Proposal – New 16 place SEMH SRB

  • Thursday 16 January 2020, 9–10am, Wensum Junior Academy
  • Thursday 23 January 2020, 6–7pm, Wensum Junior Academy

North Norfolk

Mundesley Junior School, Trunch Road, Mundesley NR11 8LE

Proposal – Expand existing 10 place SEMH SRB by a further six places

  • Tuesday 14 January 2020, 2.15–3.15pm at Mundesley Junior School
  • Monday 20 January 2020, 5–6pm, Mundesley Junior School

West Norfolk

Greyfriars Academy (KWEST Trust) London Road, King's Lynn PE30 5PY

Proposal – New 16 place autism SRB

  • Tuesday 14 January 2020, 2.30–3.30pm at Greyfriars Academy
  • Wednesday 29 January 2020, 5.30–6.30pm at Greyfriars Academy

Hillcrest Primary School, Hillcrest, Downham Market PE38 9ND

Proposal – New 16 place learning and cogition SRB

  • Wednesday 15 January 2020, 3–4pm, Hillcrest Primary School
  • Thursday 30 January 2020, 5-6pm, Hillcrest Primary School

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