Specialist school ‘very excited’ about expansion plans

PUBLISHED: 11:57 13 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:58 13 June 2020

Proposals have been lodged to expand John Grant School in Caister. Picture: John Grant School

Proposals have been lodged to expand John Grant School in Caister. Picture: John Grant School


Thirty additional places for children with complex needs are being planned as part of a scheme to expand a “fantastic school”.

Proposals have been unveiled to expand John Grant School in Caister, which would involve building a new block containing five new classrooms as well as an appropriate outdoor area.

Norfolk County Council published a formal notice on Friday, June 12 to say that it intends to make a final decision about pressing ahead with the proposal in four weeks, as part of its bold plan to transform special needs education by investing £120m to create 500 extra school places across the county for children with SEND.

Cabinet member for children’s services at Norfolk County Council, John Fisher, said: “John Grant is a fantastic school which provides outstanding education for its children, as judged by Ofsted.

“I know many parents and carers of children with complex needs in east Norfolk will welcome this proposed expansion.

“This project is one of many developments that we are working on, to increase the number of specialist school places in the county so that more children with SEND can get the education they need as close as possible to where they live.”

John Grant School teaches pupils from reception to 19-year-olds with complex needs, including those with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties and Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Headteacher, Pam Ashworth, said: “Our school community is very excited about the prospect of expanding our wonderful school so that even more children in Norfolk can benefit from the excellent education and support that our staff provide here.”

Norfolk County Councillor for Caister, Penny Carpenter, added: “John Grant School is a precious part of our wonderful community in Caister and I’m delighted that the county council is investing in its future - and the future of the children who get such a wonderful education there.”

The proposed building work is subject to securing planning and other approvals.

Prior to a planning application being submitted – scheduled for later this year - the county council will send a letter to nearby residents, sharing plans for the proposal and asking for comments and feedback.

If planning permission is granted, the new spaces could be available in 2022.

The county council has already carried out a five week consultation about the proposal, and comments and representations can continue to be made up until July 10 via email to

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