The purchase presents an opportunity for WCC to increase its offer for some of its more vulnerable young people and will enable them to attend a school in the County rather than travel out of Warwickshire, minimising disruption for the pupils and keeping health and social care integrated with their education. The projected opening date is September 2021.
The proposal is to establish an 80 place specialist school for children with Autism (ASD) and/or Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs. The age range of pupils would be from Year 5 to Year 14 (9-19 years old).
The purchase of the site supports the Council’s desire to keep vulnerable learners within Warwickshire wherever possible. Demand for specialist educational provision is rising with 261 learners currently in specialist provision and forecasts showing that a further 259 places will be required by 2023.
Establishing a new school at Exhall is integral to the Council’s strategy to respond to this challenge, and follows the commissioning of the Discovery Academy in Nuneaton (opened in 2015) and Quest Academy in Rugby (opened in 2017).