Parents give their backing to special school’s plans

Prospective parents and representatives from Education Excellence For All including, centre, principal Shez Webb
Prospective parents and representatives from Education Excellence For All including, centre, principal Shez Webb

Parents and community leaders have given their overwhelming backing to plans for a new special school in Daventry.

A series of consultation events has been held by the team behind the Daventry Special Academy, which concluded with a final session at the iCon centre on Monday.

The academy was given the go-ahead by the Department of Education in September.

The latest consultation and open days allowed possible parents to find out a few more details about the plans and what will happen next.

Peter Burrell, the chairman of Education Excellence For All trust which is behind the schools, said: “We have been left delighted with the level of response that we have had from people to the plans.

“What has been shown is that there is a real need and desire from everyone, including parents, teachers and local councillors, to get a special school in Daventry.”

Parents of potential children who will be going to the school have been asking questions about the plans.

Mr Burrell said: “People have been asking us about the provision outside of school and we will be running activities on some weekends and out of school hours.

“We have also been asked by [Daventry] people who have children at other schools in Northampton if they will have to come to the new school in Daventry.

“We have said to those parents that there will be places for children from the local area, but if they wish to carry on their education where they are already settled then they can.”

Another question raised by parents relating to the site of the new school could be answered in the near future.

Mr Burrell added: “We are having a meeting with all of the relevant agencies in the near future and it is then that we hope we can agree on a site for where the new school will go. One thing that we want, and the parents want, is for it to be in the town centre. This will give pupils the chance to use the town as an educational resource.”

The academy is designed for pupils with learning difficulties and is set to be opened in September 2016.

Initially the academy will take on pupils in reception and years three, seven, nine and 12. The school will then grow each year until full in 2019 with a total of 175 children.

Shez Webb, executive headteacher of Northgate School Arts College in Northampton, will be the school’s principal. Anyone who has not been able to make the consultation dates and wishes to comment on the plans can so do by visiting People have until Friday, December 19 to register their comments.