New SEN Centre of Excellence on the horizon

On 25 June, Merton Council’s Cabinet is set to approve the purchase of land in the borough to enable the building of a new secondary school provision for children with special educational needs. The site on Risley Road is currently owned by the London Borough of Sutton and is close to St Ann’s, one of Merton’s existing SEN schools. The purchase will allow the council to build new provision for pupils aged 11 to 19 and realise its commitment to establish a centre of excellence for children with special needs from early years to age 19.

The council and the DfES are both contributing capital funding for the scheme, which is expected to be completed for the first intake of children in September 2010. The new provision will increase local options, providing an extensive curriculum for children with special educational needs of all ages making use of excellent new facilities. The council is ensuring the development will be as energy efficient as possible and is also committed to providing increased community access to facilities such as the school’s recreation spaces and hydrotherapy pool outside core school hours.

Councillor Debbie Shears, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said:

“I am delighted a site has been identified for the new school building. This purchase will allow Merton Council to fulfil our commitment to improving educational opportunities for children with special needs. We will consult parents widely on the scheme and will develop first class provision which will help to raise achievement and increase life chances for these children.”