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New special needs school provision approved for The Vineyard School

5 April 2022

Proposals for a new provision for children with special educational needs in Richmond upon Thames have been approved, subject to planning permission, which will provide specialist resources to support up to 14 children.

The new provision, at The Vineyard Primary School in Richmond, will be for children with Education and Health Care Plans (EHCPs) who have Social Communication Needs including both Autism and Mild to Moderate Learning Difficulties as their main presenting special educational needs. Pupils will be able to join from September 2023 and the number of pupils will grow up to a maximum of 14 over three or four years.

The new Special Resource Provision will mean more children and young people can be educated within their home community. It also means they will be able to access mainstream lessons where appropriate with their teaching and learning fully supported through specialist teachers so that they can make the best possible progress with their education. 

The proposal will require building work to be carried out, subject to planning permission. Achieving for Children, Richmond Council's Children's Services provider, carried out an initial consultation in January 2022, with parents and carers of children at The Vineyard School. A subsequent statutory consultation ran from February to March. All responses were in favour of the proposed provision. 

Ian Dodds, Director of Children's Services for Richmond upon Thames, said: 

"The number of local children diagnosed with having special educational needs and disabilities is rising and our schools must be equipped to support pupils' individual needs. 

"We want children to be able to be educated within their communities, no matter what their needs, which is why we are consistently working to increase local provision, both within mainstream schools and by increasing places available to students at special needs schools." 

This will supplement the additional specialist resource provision places established in the last few years at Windham Nursery, East Sheen Primary, Hampton Hill Junior, Heathfield Infant and Heathfield Junior, Hampton High, Orleans Park and Richmond Park Academy.  In addition, the number of specialist places in the borough has increased in recent years through the opening of the new Capella House special school, a free school run by the Auriga Academy Trust, in September 2019, and expansions of the existing special schools, Clarendon and Strathmore, both also run by Auriga. 

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Up to: April 2022

Updated: 5 April 2022

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