Home   Sheerness   News   Article

First glimpse at how Sheppey's first special free school could look


More news, no ads

LEARN MORE

The first images of Sheppey’s proposed new special school - the first of its kind on the Island - have been released.

If approved, the secondary will be built on the former Danley Middle School site in Halfway Road, Halfway, and cater for 120 young people.

One of the first images of Sheppey’s proposed new special school, showing its outdoor play areas
One of the first images of Sheppey’s proposed new special school, showing its outdoor play areas

Run by The SABDEN Multi-Academy Trust, it would cater predominantly for those who have social, emotional and mental health difficulties including those with autism and communication difficulties.

The school would be for 11 to 16-year-olds and the new images revealed show its proposed design, which includes a forest school area, sports hall, therapy suite, library, a soft outdoor PE area and ‘zones’ throughout the building that separate year groups and “enables pupils to feel safe and secure within their own core teaching area”.

According to the documents on Swale council’s planning portal, the school is aiming to open in September 2022.

However, this autumn, Shellina Prendergast, Kent County Council’s (KCC) cabinet member for education and skills, admitted pupils were expected to walk through the doors a year later than planned.

She said: “The new secondary free special school, being provided through the Department for Education (DfE), is much needed and we are very pleased that work on it is progressing.

One of the first images of Sheppey’s proposed new special school, showing its entrance approach
One of the first images of Sheppey’s proposed new special school, showing its entrance approach

“As a result of a number of changes to the project and the difficulties that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused, the anticipated date of opening for the school is September 2023.

“This is dependent on successfully obtaining planning permission, and the successful delivery of the building programme.

“In addition to the planning application, there will be a public consultation in the coming months.”

While Sittingbourne has two special educational needs (SEN) schools; Meadowfield School and Aspire School, the need for a special free school on the Island was identified by KCC in previous versions of its rolling Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent.

A bid was submitted to the DfE in October 2018 for funding for it.

Cllr Shellina Prendergast, cabinet member for education
Cllr Shellina Prendergast, cabinet member for education

KCC was advised in March 2019 the bid was successful and a competition process to find a sponsor for the proposed school would take place.

The planning application for the proposed school is now available to view here – search for it using the reference 21/505736/PSINF.

Read more: All the latest news from Sheppey

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More