SEND education in Swindon receives £22.4m boost for new school places

A brand-new special school will be built and dozens of extra school places created after millions of pounds was secured for SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) education in Swindon.

Published: Wednesday, 28th February 2024

SEND £22m investment story

Swindon Borough Council will spend £22.43m over the next four years to create 66 new places at four existing schools as well as build a brand-new special school.

The extra spaces in the primary schools will be available in September 2024 and 2025.

The new special school will have space for 100 children and will be built to expand the current provision for children with SEND still further and is expected to be ready by 2028.

Funding from the SEND Capital Grant, which is received from the Department for Education and Section 106 developer contributions, will be used to create the additional 66 places.

The money will be used to expand the specialist provision already at Eldene Primary School, creating an extra 10 Key Stage One places.

A 24-place Key Stage One and Key Stage Two unit will be created at Badbury Park Primary School, while current special schools Nyland Primary and St Luke’s Academy will receive funding to create an additional 16 places at both schools.

With places at special schools continuing to increase, the Council’s Cabinet also agreed to borrow £13.2m to build a new special school. Council officers are currently reviewing available sites including options to redevelop existing buildings to offer state-of-the-art facilities. The new special school will provide additional places across all key stages from age four to 19.

Councillor Adorabelle Amaral-Shaikh, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “I am absolutely delighted we have secured this funding to provide additional places at special schools in Swindon, as it is incredibly important that we have enough specialist provision for the children and young people in the Borough who need it.

“We are blessed with fantastic special schools, with dedicated leaders and staff teams supporting our children and families and many of our mainstream schools also have specialist units across all ages who are doing an amazing job through inclusive specialist provision. Swindon is a fast-expanding town and we know we will need more capacity as we continue to grow.

“I’d like to thank my Cabinet colleagues for supporting the capital borrowing bid for the new special school and I look forward to seeing our provision for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities continue to grow and flourish in the years ahead.”

Councillor Jim Robbins, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “This investment in our SEND education is great news for parents and sends a clear signal that we want to provide the very best educational facilities for our children and young people.

“It is also very much in keeping with our mission to Reduce Inequality as we want everyone in the Borough to have the very best start in life that they can.”

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