Merger plans in pipeline for special needs schools - The Leamington Observer

Merger plans in pipeline for special needs schools

Leamington Editorial 11th Feb, 2020 Updated: 17th Feb, 2020   0

SPECIAL needs schools in Warwick could merge.

Plans are in the pipeline to close Round Oak School on Brittain Lane and merge it with Ridgeway School, which already has a site on Deansway.

Both would remain open under Ridgeway’s name and leadership, with Ridgeway operating as a primary school and Round Oak as a secondary.

Education chiefs at Warwickshire County Council say the change was needed due to anticipated demand, with an additional 78 places needed in the Leamington and Warwick area by 2023.

They also claim it will be a more efficient use of resources and would be better for the children.

Education chiefs say despite having the option to keep either school site open, Round Oak did not have a ‘permanent’ headteacher and its board of governors was disbanded following concerns over its running, leading to their decision to opt for the existing Ridgeway site.

Round Oak is currently operating under a interim headteacher and interim board of directors.

A consultation is currently being held with the council’s cabinet yet to agree to the plans. If given the green light the merger would go ahead on September 1.

Council education spokesman Colin Hayfield said: “The consultation will lay out our plans for increasing capacity for children and young people with SEND in the central Warwick region.

“These are really positive plans. Besides increasing our resilience and reducing the need for young people with SEND to travel outside the county, it will mean an all-through school for the students of Round Oak and Ridgeway. Again, this is the preferable option for the young people. Moving from primary to secondary school can be a very traumatic experience and all-through schools can significantly reduce the effect of this.

“There is a real benefit to the merged school in having two buildings, both of which can be used flexibly depending upon need, enabling us to keep disruption to individual children to an absolute minimum.”


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