Staff and pupils at the Garth School.

Funding boost for special schools

Millions of pounds of extra funding has been sourced to help fund new facilities at specialist schools in Lincolnshire, including at The Garth and Priory schools, as well as Gosberton Academy.

A further £30m has been sourced for the five-year projet to improve 13 schools taking the total to £86m.

The newly pledged £30m includes half new funding from Lincolnshire County Council and half from new government grants.

The project includes a new nine-classroom block with enhanced therapeutic spaces and specialist teaching provision at The Priory School in Spalding.

The scheme, due for completion this autumn, will also include the demolition of unsuitable and outdated buildings and remodelling within the existing school.

There will be enhancements to the external play areas and improved parking and mini-bus access.

Gosberton House Academy is due to see the development of facilities for students with profound and multiple learning disabilities, including enhanced therapeutic spaces, soft play, physiotherapy and medical facilities, sensory spaces and newly developed teaching spaces for pupils with physical disabilities.

That’s due for completion by Autumn 2023.

It follows on from the recently completed new wing at The Garth School in Spalding which involved five new classrooms with contained external play space, two new hygiene suites and a playground extension.

Lincolnshire County Council is unable to say how much is being spent on each school due to contracts but is keen to stress £13.2m is being spent on a new Boston Endeavour School which some pupils in South Holland may attend.

That new facility is set to include 16 classrooms, specialist teaching spaces for science, technology, ICT and art, and a hall.

It will also benefit from a hydrotherapy pool, sensory and soft play rooms and dedicated therapy spaces.

Outside, there will be hard and soft-surfaced play areas, as well as a sensory garden and wildlife areas.

Coun Patricia Bradwell OBE, the county council’s deputy leader/executive member for children’s services, said: “We want to ensure that all children can access high-quality education, as near to their family and local community as possible.

“This additional funding will be used to fund the proposed expansion of St Christopher’s School in Lincoln and will allow us to improve access at other sites, by providing additional spaces for school buses and staff parking.

“It will also help cover some of the unforeseen costs due to the pandemic and other challenges that inevitably arise during construction.

“Our ambitious programme will mean more pupils with SEND can attend a local school rather than having to travel large distances for their education, which will be of great benefit to both the children and their families.

“I’m delighted to see construction getting underway at a number of schools across the county, and I look forward to seeing the projects progress over the next few years.”

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