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Plans for new special school in Mansfield approved

Posted onPosted on 13th Mar

A major scheme to build a new school in Mansfield for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has moved a significant step forward after councillors gave the plans the green light.

The new school will be built on the former Ravensdale School site in the town and will have capacity for up to 160 pupils across the 7 to 19 years age range.

It is being designed and project and cost managed by Arc Partnership, in a joint venture between Nottinghamshire County Council and SCAPE, with construction being undertaken by Morgan Sindall. The school is expected to open in 2025.

Nottinghamshire County Council says the purpose-built facility will provide a specialist learning environment for children with social, emotional, and mental health needs.

The project is part of a wider programme being delivered by the council to create up to 490 additional SEND school places by 2026 to address the growing demand for more specialist school places.

Mansfield and Ashfield districts have seen the largest increases in the number of Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) between January 2019 to January 2023.  Together the two districts account for 35.8% of all new EHCPs.

Sensory zones and calm spaces are some of the design elements included in the construction of the new facility to ensure it is tailored to the children’s needs and complement learning.

Each key stage will be accommodated in either four or six classrooms to promote a ‘small school’ feel, along with satellite dining spaces to avoid children being overwhelmed by larger central facilities.

Separate building entrances will also be created to address the sensory needs of pupils.

The purpose-built school will also boast two all-weather pitches with sports equipment storage buildings and a tarmac multi-use games area, as well as car parking and a drop-off area for minibuses.

Six spaces for electric vehicle (EV) charging will be provided in the staff car park and four, including one for a disability parking space, in the visitor car park.

It is expected that the associated cost of delivering the new school will be funded from the Special Schools capital programme.

From 2021 to 2023, the council has provided an additional 97 specialist educational places, with an investment of more than £5m.

It has also contributed to the Department for Education’s rebuild of Yeoman Park Academy, Mansfield Woodhouse, to secure an additional 28 places by early 2025.