Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Council approves proposal to merge special schools in the South of Central Bedfordshire

Plans to merge Glenwood and Hillcrest special schools to create an area special school across the two sites were approved at a meeting of the Council’s executive today (Tuesday 27th March). The plans received broad support from both of the schools and the public in informal and statutory consultations.

By sharing facilities and bringing together staff expertise, the area special school, to be named the Chiltern School, will cater for a wide range of needs as well as offering families improved provision closer to home.

The merged school will offer greater potential to hold on to, recruit and develop quality teaching and support staff, and ensure that all the needs of pupils and parents continue to be met.

Speaking about the decision, Executive Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Mark Versallion, said:

“Our main aim is to meet the needs and improve the lives of children and young people, particularly those with complex needs. This is best achieved when they can go to school close to home and their families can remain involved. The new area special school will offer this.”

"Having successfully established the Ivel Valley Area Special School in east Central Bedfordshire we are now keen to safeguard and strengthen educational provision in the south of the area."

Rupert Groves, Chair of Governors, Glenwood School, said:

"Today's decision is the realisation of a long held dream. We are excited to be able to launch The Chiltern School as the new area special school in the south of Central Bedfordshire.

We want The Chiltern School to be at the heart of provision for children with Special Educational Needs, serving our local areas through attendance at school and support for mainstream schools.

Pupils will benefit from the extension of the range of needs we can meet. We are very fortunate to be able to develop specialist provision on both sites, particularly for pupils with sensory and complex learning needs.

We want to open our doors to families and the local commnities in our catchment areas. After Easter we will roll out a programme of communication meetings for; families, pupils and the staff of the two merging schools. We can't wait to get started!"

For further information please contact: Nick Pearce, Media Officer on 0300 300 4910

Central Bedfordshire Council PR 984 23/03/2012

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