Major plans for Mansfield satellite special school shelved

Major plans to create a new school in Mansfield for youngsters with additional needs have been shelved.

By Katrina Taylor
Friday, 18th June 2021, 3:32 pm

King Edward Primary School on St Andrew Street had been earmarked to become the first ‘satellite school’ in Nottinghamshire, utilising currently unused classrooms to provide up to 24 places for children with complex needs.

The specialist school would have been operated by Carlton Digby, a special school based in Gedling which is currently rated as outstanding by education watchdog Ofsted.

King Edward had been identified as a potential site after a Nottinghamshire County Council report said there was ‘considerable pressure’ in the county to find special school places.

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King Edward Primary School in Mansfield.

However, the plans have now been shelved after architects and representatives from both schools decided the requirements for a large, secure outdoor space for the complex needs of the pupils would not be feasible without ‘becoming detrimental’ to the school’s existing pupils.

Headteacher Sue Bridges said: “We are disappointed that the partnership with Carlton Digby has not been feasible.

"It would have been beneficial for some children in Mansfield who need specialist provision and for King Edward to support those families.

"We would like to thank our parents and carers for their willingness and support on this proposal.”

Coun Tracey Taylor, chairman of the county council’s Children and Young People Committee, confirmed the plans to use the King Edward site had been scrapped.

“The detailed feasibility study which we commissioned has identified some challenges involving the outdoor play area and turning spaces for vehicles which require further consideration, which means that the specialist satellite school will not be opening on this site in September,” she said.

“Headteachers, governors, school staff and local families who have been involved in this project have all made positive contributions to the idea of developing innovative learning and development pathways for children with special educational needs.

"We will continue to work with our partners to look at all the options available for the benefit of children with special educational needs and disabilities in the local area.”

A report had previously highlighted that ‘90 children and young people were awaiting a special school place, with further requests in process’ in the area.

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