Green light for extra 'SEND' places at Thornton's Red Marsh School

Proposals to expand Thornton's Red Marsh School to boost provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities have been given the go ahead.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 5:15 pm
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 5:16 pm
Good news for Red Marsh in Thornton

The move, following approval by Lancashire County Council's cabinet, will see the creation of up to 30 additional SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) places at the Holly Road school, which has been rated 'outstanding' as a special school for pupils with generic learning difficulties.

At its meeting on Thursday, Cabinet gave the go-ahead to create three additional classes on a separate 'satellite' site that is co-located with Northfold Community Primary School, a mainstream primary.

The proposals come off the back of a series of formal consultations run over the summer, which identified a particular demand for special school places for children and young people with learning difficulties in the area between Fleetwood and Lytham.

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The review led to a series of exciting proposals being developed by the County Council, with the Red Marsh plans being developed at pace to ensure the places are ready by January 2022.

An informal consultation on the proposals, and alternative options for Red Marsh, ran following the summer's review, with the current plans being put forward for a formal consultation.

Of the responses received to the online survey during the formal consultation, which ran between 23rd September and 21st October 2021, 94 per cent agreed with the proposal.

County Councillor Jayne Rear, cabinet member for education and skills, said: "Red Marsh School is an outstanding school and has been since 2011, and we want to enhance that even further.

"The head teachers at both Red Marsh schools and Northfold Community Primary School are clear about the benefits to all their pupils.

"The children from Red Marsh will have the specialist support they need, while also having more inclusive opportunities.

"Teachers from Northfold Community Primary School will also be able to access additional support for children with special needs from the staff at Red Marsh School as and when this is required.

“The creation of three additional classrooms will allow us to help more children and young people to benefit from the support provided by this school enabling them to achieve their full potential.

"It will also make better use of a large empty school building that is currently vacant, bringing the former school back into use.

"The current proposals were overwhelmingly supported during the public consultations. Thank you to everyone who took part in these consultations and helped shape the current plans."

Following cabinet approval, the additional places at Red Marsh School are expected to be available from January 2022.