East Midlands Academy Trust is to create additional school places for children with special educational needs in Northamptonshire with the opening of a new joint SEND unit.
There will be a dedicated department for Key Stage 1 pupils with SEND at the Trust’s Castle Academy, while Hardingstone Academy will cater for children in Key Stage 2.
Work is well underway on the departments, which will open to pupils in January.
The joint unit has been developed in conjunction with West Northamptonshire Council and will help ensure that there is enough SEND capacity in the area both now and in the future.
Castle Academy Head of School Daniel Lugg said: “We’re so excited to be opening this new joint SEND unit, which will provide dedicated support and learning to children with special educational needs.”
Julie Stevens, Head of School at Hardingstone Academy, said: “By creating the departments within our two schools, SEND pupils will benefit from specialist teaching and learning in two fantastic facilities while also enjoying the opportunity to learn alongside our mainstream pupils.”
The departments will support children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) for communication and interaction needs, specifically Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Zoe McIntyre, Executive Headteacher for Castle Academy and Hardingstone Academy, said: “There is a real shortage of SEND provision in Northamptonshire and we are thrilled that we have been able to work with the local authority to provide these much-needed additional school places.
“As a fully inclusive Trust, we believe that every child should have the best possible opportunity to learn, succeed and achieve, and we’re very much looking forward to opening the new joint SEND unit in the new year.”