Herts County Council approves plan to relocate SEND service at Stevenage school

Special education needs families gather in Stevenage for an organised march against Hertfordshire Co

Special education needs families gather in Stevenage for an organised march against Hertfordshire County Council Children’s services which they say are failing vulnerable families. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Plans to relocate a service dedicated to special educational needs pupils at a Stevenage school were approved by Herts County Council’s cabinet on Monday, July 8.

The Primary Support Base at The Leys Primary School, which supports mainstream school pupils with SEND across Stevenage, will be moving to a new location in the town in January 2020.

According to the cabinet's report, The Leys Primary School were "no longer willing to host this essential provision, which supports the complex needs of some of the most vulnerable children in the area".

The PSB - which is part of Herts County Council's SEND strategy - will be managed by Peartree Spring Primary School at The Lodge off Mobbsbury Way, less than two miles away from the original site.

As part of this move, Peartree will receive a £50,000 grant for start-up costs from the Dedicated Schools Grant High Needs fund.

The Lodge Annexe - which is owned by the county council - has been vacant since 2015, having previously been allocated to Children Services and a SEND specialist early years centre.

But the site will enjoy £250,000 worth of funding for refurbishments before the move - which HCC says will enable the PSB to offer "an enhanced learning environment in the centre of Stevenage".

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Herts County Council have promised the new PSB will have outside learning space, extra-curricular activities as well as opportunities for off-site trips in the future.

Despite relocating, the provision will retain the same range of advice and support, outreach services and a small number of pupil places in the PSB.

Of the public's six responses to the proposal during last month's consultation period, five were in favour of the move and one disagreed.

In replying to concerns raised by one respondent, HCC said: "The staff will be led by a PSB leader and three support staff, all trained with relevant qualifications and experience.

"Physical support will be provided by Peartree Spring, Fairlands and Camps Hill schools - particularly for emergency/critical incident responses."

To read the full report, click on Agenda 05 here.

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