This month has seen a landmark in the future for special education in Lincolnshire for the benefit of pupils and their parents across the county.
A £50m investment in Lincolnshire’s special schools – plus improved links with mainstream schools – will transform Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) support for local children and young people.
I was pleased to be able to vote to support this measure which will bring major improvements at both special schools and mainstream schools over the next five years.
What does this mean for Grantham? Sandon and Ambergate schools will be improved and become one school spread over two sites. The school will be able to cater for all special needs and disabilities and school places will increase from 152 to 229.
That means more places for children and young people in Grantham who need special school provision and somewhere closer to home for many more pupils.
We need to ensure more children can attend their local school rather than having to travel huge distances for their education. Children should be able to access high-quality education and achieve their potential, as near their family and local community as possible.
These significant, far-reaching changes will do just that – reducing long travel times for students, enhancing provision and increasing school places. We’re committing significant investment in working with schools, parents and families to achieve this.
And this new model for special education has the full support of head teachers, governors and the Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum.
To recap, Improvements will include:
• £50m investment in special schools to ensure they have the right facilities to meet all types of need
• A new school in Lincolnshire and expansion of several others
• Development of special school satellites on some mainstream sites
• Reduced journeys by ensuring all special schools can cater for all types of need and disability so pupils can go to their nearest one
• Increased school places to meet growing demand and stop pupils having to travel outside the county.
For more information about the changes – and about Lincolnshire SEND provision generally – visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/sendcommunities