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Community asked to have their say on plan to create 10 special needs bases

PUBLISHED: 20:23 06 January 2020 | UPDATED: 20:24 06 January 2020

Hillcrest Primary School in Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

Hillcrest Primary School in Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

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People are being asked to share their views on a plan to create more than 140 new places at mainstream schools across Norfolk for children with complex needs.

The Edith Cavell Academy in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Edith Cavell Academy in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The proposal would see new places provided through specialist referral bases (SRBs) at 10 different locations across the county.

The idea is part of Norfolk County Council's £120m transformation of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) schooling.

Of the 10 proposed SRBs, five are planned for children with autism - four of which would be brand new and one would replace and expand on an existing facility.

Another four SRBs would be for children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs and one base would be for youngsters with learning and cognition (L&C) needs.

John Fisher. Photo: Broadland District CouncilJohn Fisher. Photo: Broadland District Council

Children with either SEMH or L&C needs would stay on the roll of the home school and attend the SRB for anywhere between two and four terms before reintegrating back into their home school on a full-time basis.

The county council has worked with schools across Norfolk, including local authority-run schools and academy trusts, to establish the correct provision is provided in the right places.

Where possible it is planned that places would be available from September 1, 2020.

John Fisher, NCC cabinet member for children's services, said the proposal was another step forward in the council's pledge to transform education for children with special needs.

He said: "Youngsters with special educational needs can be educated effectively in a range of mainstream or specialist settings.

"These extra SRB places as part of mainstream schools will provide more choice for families looking for that extra support for their child to thrive in a mainstream school.

"It is a central aim of our transformation programme to reduce travel time for children and their families and provide extra SEND support in mainstream schools and this proposal does just that."

The consultation is open from Tuesday, January 7, until Tuesday, February 4.

The consultation document can be found online at https://norfolk.citizenspace.com/childrens-services/srbprovision/ (from Tuesday 7).

Printed copies can also be requested by emailing schoolreview@norfolk.gov.uk or by writing to School Organisation Team, FREEPOST IH 2076, Floor 8 (Bay 34), County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich NR1 2DH

Affected schools will be holding drop-in events where people can find out more about the proposals.

Breckland

Redcastle Family School, St Martins Way.

Proposal: A new 16 place autism SRB

Drop in sessions: Friday January 10, 2.30pm - 3.30pm and Wednesday January 15, 5.30pm - 6.30pm.

Thetford Academy, (Inspiration Trust) Croxton Road.

Proposal for a new 16 place autism SRB at

Drop in sessions: Wednesday January 15, 3pm - 4pm and Monday January 20, 6pm - 7pm.

Drake Primary School, Fairfields, Thetford IP24 1JW

Proposal: To replace existing pod provision and expand from 8 place to a 16 place autism SRB

Drop in Sessions: Friday January 10, 9am - 10am and Thursday January 16, 5pm - 6pm.

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East Norfolk

Caister Infant and Nursery School and Caister Junior School

Proposal: A new 16 place SEMH SRB

Drop in sessions: Thursday January 16, 2.30pm - 3.30pm and Tuesday January 21, 6pm - 7pm.

Norwich

Arden Grove Infant School, Arden Grove, Hellesdon.

Proposal: A new 16 place SEMH SRB

Drop in sessions: Thursday January 16, 6pm -7pm and Friday January 17, 9am - 10am

Edith Cavell Academy and Nursery (Boudica Schools Trust) Duckett Close.

Proposal: A new 16 place SEMH SRB

Drop in sessions: Monday January 13, 9am - 10am and Wednesday January 22, 3pm - 4pm

Wensum Junior Academy (Evolution Academy Trust), Turner Road

Proposal: A new 16 place SEMH SRB

Drop in sessions: Thursday January 16, 9am - 10am, and Thursday January 23, 6pm - 7pm.

North Norfolk

Mundesley Junior School, Trunch Road,

Proposal: To expand the existing 10 place SEMH SRB by a further six places

Drop in sessions: Tuesday January 14, 2.15pm - 3.15pm and Monday January 20, 5pm - 6pm.

West Norfolk

Greyfriars Academy (KWEST Trust) London Road

Proposal: A new 16 place autism SRB

Drop in sessions: Tuesday January 14, 2.30pm - 3.30pm and Wednesday January 29, 5.30pm - 6.30pm.

Hillcrest Primary School, Hillcrest

Proposal: A new 16 place L&C SRB

Drop in sessions: Wednesday January 15, 3pm - 4pm and Thursday January 30, 5pm - 6pm.

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