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Community backs £1.1million special needs expansion in Hunsbury

Children and families

13 July 2022

A child with Paint on his hands

Hunsbury Park Primary School will be remodelled over the summer holidays ready for a new cohort of special needs pupils in September after parents, teachers and governors backed plans by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC).

There were 50 responses to a consultation on the proposals, which also included responses from nearby schools, academy trusts, politicians, and church organisations, and 45 of them were in favour of the proposals.

30 children will now start in September, with a further 20 places to be created by September 2023.

The expansion of special needs provision at Hunsbury Primary is just phase one of WNC’s longer term plan to create 500 new special needs places in West Northants. This will ensure that most children with high levels of need are able to be placed in a school close to where they live, with much shorter journey times for most. This will not only be of great benefit to these children and their families, but everyone else living in our area as vehicle use will be hugely reduced.

Cllr Fiona Baker, WNC’s Cabinet Member for children, families and education, said: "We have worked hard to find this opportunity and while we were confident this was the best way forward, it is very pleasing to see those in the special needs education community are behind us. I thank them for taking their time to digest the proposals and for making their voices heard.

"But ultimately the real winners here are the young people and families who will now have access to the education they need and deserve."

During its meeting on Tuesday, 12 July the WNC Cabinet approved the creation of the special education need spaces at Hunsbury Park Primary, noted the consultation results and delegated authority to officers to deliver the project.

Hunsbury Park Primary already successfully operates a smaller special needs unit and its senior leadership has significant experience in working within specialist settings.

The greatest amount of current and future demand for special need places in West Northants arises from Northampton town, in which the school is located.

Being located to the south of the town also means it will be more accessible to residents of South Northants and will reduce home to school travel times.

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