Plan for £1m school unit considered

By Emily Pearce

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

 

Plan for £1m school unit considered

Plans to use the former Love Lane School in Cowes as a specialist education unit were scrapped by the Isle of Wight Council. Picture by Laura Holme.

A SPECIALIST school unit for children who have been excluded from mainstream education and others who have medical needs is set to open in Lake.

Plans to relocate services currently provided at two such units — Thompson House, Blackwater, and Clatterford Tuition Centre, Carisbrooke — to the former Broadlea Primary School site at Berry Hill, Lake, will come before the Isle of Wight Council cabinet next week.

As previously reported, plans to open a unit for children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD) at the former Love Lane Primary School site, Cowes, have been scrapped.

The proposal ran into opposition from parents at the nearby Lanesend Primary School and Little Love Lane Pre-school, some of whom threatened to remove their children if the unit was built next door.

Alternative educational uses for the Cowes site, yet to be disclosed by the Isle of Wight Council, are under consideration.

Thompson House and Clatterford Tuition Centre are both oversubscribed, and the plans would increase the number of places from 30 to 45.

Both units have fallen into disrepair and some mobile buildings at Clatterford are beginning to pose a health and safety risk according to the Isle of Wight Council.

The new unit at Lake would cater for 15 primary age pupils and 15 pupils of all ages with medical needs, while the mobile buildings at Clatterford would be replaced to cater for 15 secondary age pupils.

The council's Education Welfare Service, Special Education Needs and Early Years teams would also relocate to Clatterford, and the specialist WISE service — which provides vocational education for children excluded from mainstream school — would continue to operate from Dodnor Industrial Estate, Newport.

Some £1.1m has been earmarked in the council's capital budget to fund the plans. The ongoing cost of running the units would be met from the government's Dedicated Schools Grant to the tune of £8,000 per place.

*It was originally reported that the Lake unit would provide services for children with behavioural, educational and social difficulties (BESD). This was incorrect.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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