Education – two new SEND units opened in Suffolk schools

19:00 22 November 2021

Two new special education units at Stowupland High School and Mendlesham Elementary School welcomed their first cohort of students.

The purpose-built ‘Mulberry’ units in John Milton Academy schools were funded by Suffolk County Council, with instruction provided by the provider SENDAT (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities).

Students at Stowupland High School moved into their new building on November 1.

Grade 7 students enjoy drama lesson in the new purpose-built SEND unit at Stowupland High School
– Credit: John Milton Academy Trust

Peter Whear, the school’s executive director, said: “These units benefit the whole school – SEND students receive a high quality education in the new units and other students benefit from learning and working with new students.

“Our new students really enjoy the experience and love their new classrooms – they are booming.”

The two units will provide 18 school places in each school with the possibility of increasing this number to 24.

Both units include two large classrooms, relaxation areas and social facilities for students.

Tessa Sait, Executive Director of Mendlesham Primary School, said: “These new SEND units, specializing in cognition and learning, have increased the capacity of places in the Stowmarket area and have helped localize the offering. for people with special educational needs.

“This means that more children in the region will have access to the SEND school closer to their homes.”

She added: “The children have integrated very well and have shared recess, meetings and lunches to expand their friendship groups.”

7th grade students outside the new SEND unit at Stowupland High School

Grade 7 students outside the new SEND unit at Stowupland Secondary School – another SEND unit has been built at Mendlesham Primary School
– Credit: John Milton Academy Trust

Rachel Hood, member of SEND, Education and Skills at Suffolk County Council, said: “These new classrooms will make such a difference for children who have additional and sometimes complex educational needs.

“They are part of our £ 45million investment to create 870 new SEND places for children and young people across Suffolk.”

Stowupland High School students

The general manager of Stowupland High School said the school’s SEND students “absolutely love” their new classrooms.
– Credit: John Milton Academy Trust

Lawrence Chapman, chief executive of SENDAT, said the units were already making “a significant difference”.

“We are delighted to support mainstream schools to expand their offering,” he said.

“The units are already making a significant difference in the lives of students and their families.

“Working in partnership like this ensures that staff have the specialist support of SENDAT and that students have access to mainstream courses where it suits them. ”

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