Special school site has been revealed

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A site for the planned Daventry Special Academy (DSA) has been announced.

The proposed home for the new academy is three acres immediately south of the Daventry University Technical College.

It was revealed in an agenda for a full meeting of Daventry District Council (DDC) to meet tonight (Thursday) which will discuss a disposal of the site for this purpose.

The academy would cater for four to 18-year-olds with profound and multiple learning difficulties, severe learning difficulties and autism. It is being promoted by the trust Education Excellence for All (EE4A).

A report written by DDC’s business manager Simon Bowers said: “Use of the site in this way would be broadly consistent with the Daventry Town Centre Vision and subsequent policy statements, and the indicative masterplans prepared for Sites 3 and 6 and reviewed by the Daventry Town Development Implementation Working Group.

“EE4A has identified that the school being in a reasonable distance of the town centre is an important characteristic, as part of the curriculum will involve integration of young people with wider society.”

Councillors will be deciding whether to dispose of the site for the sum of £750,000 and also whether to release the sum of £450,000 from earmarked reserves as a contribution towards the special academy scheme.

DDC had been contacted by the body responsible for funding and finding sites for new free schools stating that it had been unable to find a site.

The Education Funding Agency has asked for an agreement to be completed before Government decisions are frozen in the period before the general election. Therefore the report will go straight to full council rather than being discussed by DDC’s strategy group.

If the recommendations are approved and the school is given planning permission, it is hoped the academy will open in September 2016. Shez Webb has been appointed executive principal of the school.

The report continued: “The quality of education in the district is a key concern of the council, and therefore disposing of this site to help meet the needs of a number of young people with particular needs is a reasonable approach.

“The DSA would also form a natural part of the Learning Quarter alongside the UTC. A crystallised receipt from Town Centre Vision Site 6 is of some value, albeit the full potential value would not be realised.

“There is also the ability to rectify this through a transfer from the earmarked reserve for primary education. The disposal is therefore recommended.”

The meeting will take place at the council offices at 6.15pm.

For further information about the DSA visit its website www.daventryspecialacademy.co.uk.