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Isle of Wight special school to expand with council investment

Expansion plans have today (Tuesday) been announced for an Isle of Wight special school.

St George’s School, in Watergate Road, Newport, is set to benefit from a £860,000 funding boost from the Isle of Wight Council.

The cash injection will allow the school to make significant changes to its accommodation with a new sixth form centre and ’employability hub’  that will provide additional facilities for up to 50 young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

This development will also enhance post-16 provision across the Island for individuals with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Welcoming the news, Councillor Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, said the plans would help meet the growing demand for special school places on the Island and support the post-16 SEN strategy.

He said: “Today’s announcement once again underlines our commitment to give every child the tools to successfully transition into adulthood and to be supported towards greater independence and employability.

“Special school places are already in high demand, and this is expected to rise further over the coming years, so investment is required now to ensure we can meet that need.

“Expanding St George’s School in this way will give more children and young people access to the best possible SEND education.”

Under the plans the sixth form will move into a bespoke facility on the same site.

It will support young people to gain greater independence and employability skills as they enter adulthood, and help bridge the gap between education and employment.

Sue Holman, Headteacher at St George’s, said: “The demand for places at St George’s School is rising year on year.”

“This project will enable us to free up capacity in the main school while enabling our sixth form students to start their transition to adulthood in a bespoke new provision.”

“We are very excited to work with the local authority to design and realise this new provision.”

Last month the council also announced plans to open the Island’s very first early years SEN hub at Clever Cloggs Pre-school, Newport, providing high-quality tailored support for pre-school children with additional needs and their families.

I am very excited to say that this is now definitely happening as we have been campaigning for better facilities for our 6th Form for many years. It will of course take time to build and renovate but we hope to have part of the facilities in place for September 21 and the rest by December 21. Watch this space for exciting updates.