New North Norfolk specialist school moves another step closer
02 July 2020
A proposed new specialist school which will provide up to 100 new school places for children and young people with autism in North Norfolk will be run by specialist academy trust, SENDAT - as confirmed by the Department for Education.
The new school which would be located on the former Fakenham College 6th form site, is being proposed by Norfolk County Council as part of its ambitious plan to transform special educational needs in Norfolk and address the ever-increasing demand for specialist education which, in common with other authorities across the country, it continues to face.
This includes investing £120m in creating 500 additional specialist places at new and mainstream schools, working closely with schools to ensure they have the resources they need to provide local special needs education.
Cllr John Fisher, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services at Norfolk County Council said: “We are absolutely committed to making Norfolk’s special educational needs provision better, working with our partners across education, health and of course those families who need to know their children can get the right education so they can fulfil their goals for the future.
“SENDAT has a great track record for delivering high quality specialist education and I have every confidence that they share our ambition for the future of specialist education in Norfolk and will make a vital contribution to helping us achieve it.”
Lawrence Chapman, Chief Executive Officer of SENDAT added: “We are delighted to have been chosen as the sponsor for this new school in Fakenham. We are already running very successful schools and currently teaching over 400 students in Suffolk with a wide range of special needs including students with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and associated difficulties.
“We are excited at the prospect of being able to do so in Norfolk and very much looking forward to working with Norfolk County Council and engaging with the local community over the next few weeks and months to keep everyone informed of our plans to deliver an outstanding special school in Fakenham.”
The proposed new school will provide a modern learning environment for up to 100 children and young people aged 5-16 with autism/complex communication and interaction needs.
The proposal is subject to planning and other approvals. The formal planning application process and associated consultation is well underway, with a decision expected shortly.
Following an earlier consultation, the county council has also made a submission to the Department for Education on the re-use of the former playing field and is awaiting a response this summer.
If approved, the new school could start accepting pupils from early 2022.
Norfolk County Councillor for Fakenham, Cllr Tom FitzPatrick added: “Fakenham is proud to be the host for this much needed and very important new school and I know the community will be looking forward to getting to know SENDAT in the near future.”
SENDAT is a multi academy trust in special education and specialist provision in the eastern region. It’s vision is to develop a continuum of provision for children and young people from 5-25 years old which enables the trust to fully support pupils and parents. This vision is driven by SENDAT’s belief that all should have the same right to an excellent education regardless of whether they have additional needs of any kind, and SENDAT are committed to providing this in their range of provision. SENDAT is also committed to working closely with all partners and stakeholders for the benefit of children and young people in its schools and the wider community. There is a key focus on successful transition in and transition out for all students, and SENDAT works closely with parents, special and mainstream primary and secondary schools and FE providers to provide this.
For more information visit www.sendat.academy