A special needs school has submitted plans to transform a two-storey building on an industrial park into new classrooms.
City of Rochester School, which is based in Cliffe Woods, wants to expand its current number of pupils from 50 to 70 with new premises.
If given the green light, a former commercial building on the Medway City Estate in Rochester will be a second site for the charitable independent school to educate its students.
The proposed location at Henley Business Park is just over four miles from the current site at Bradbury House in View Road and will have 10 staff.
An application for a change of use for the current building has been submitted so it can be turned into a school, while also allowing City of Rochester to expand the age range it caters for to encompass young people between 18 and 25-years-old with a diagnosis of autism.
A planning document sent to Medway Council said: “At City of Rochester School we provide specialist education for children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Condition, aged 5 to 18.
“We are incredibly proud of our unique children, our supportive parents and carers and our dedicated staff where we all work together to make City of Rochester School a safe, happy and inspirational place to learn.
“We are a small school, currently with 50 children on our roll in total. We offer an individualised and bespoke curriculum that enables pupils to thrive, shaped by our principles of confidence + resilience = success.”
The school’s current curriculum offers accreditation of learning programmes from KS3 through to GCSEs and BTECs in KS4 and KS5 together with the experiential.
In addition to the core subjects such as in English, mathematics and science, pupils participate in a range of off-site learning opportunities that support the curriculum, including – horse riding, farm school, forest school and practical and vocational work such as film making, robotics and photography.
The last business to use the site was a company buying and selling products via Amazon and similar market places.
The ground floor was used for storage and distribution of products while the offices on the first floor were used to run the various sales posts and online market presence.
A design statement for the school’s latest plans said: “We are looking to expand the school by taking on a new off site premises from which to run vocational learning for some of the older pupils to help them learn trades and life skills to assist them as they move on from education.
“We have outgrown the current vocational learning area within the school and have been looking at the most effective and efficient way to increase the capacity for vocational learning. By locating vocational learning away from the main site we can achieve a number of goals.”
City of Rochester School was previous judged by the education watchdog Oftsed to be a ‘Good’ school with ‘outstanding’ categories during its most recent inspection in July 2021.
You can view the plans on Medway Council’s planning portal with reference MC/23/1532.