Special education school expands to a second site


A Morden school began construction work on a second campus last week, expected to be completed in 2011.

By James Pennicott

A SPECIAL education school in Morden began construction work on a second campus last week.

The work will introduce a ‘secondary school’ aspect to the centre, which will increase the intake per year.

St. Ann’s specialist school for communication and interaction, currently on Bordesley road, will be extending to Middleton road, a short distance away.

Building is expected to be finished for early 2011, ready to take in an intake for the 2011/12 year.

Head teacher Tina Harvey said: “We are very happy, in 2011 we will move our existing secondary school age pupils over to the new site.

“Redevelopment of the current site can then begin, and we can work towards achieving our goal of providing all of the specialist equipment you’d expect to find in a school of this standard.

“The teachers will carry on being incredible, what brings this school to its high standard is the level of the teaching here.”

Moving from a primary school to a secondary school is previously something that the pupils have not been able to experience; the new site introduces this transformation.

Mrs Harvey said: “Being the eldest and youngest in a secondary school and having the change in environment is something that children in other state schools experience growing up, and that all pupils should be entitled to. The additional transition should benefit them greatly.”

Zafar Hasnain, chair at the school and father of Miryam, a pupil, said: “My daughter has global development delay which is similar in some respects to cerebral palsy.”

Miryam, who started at the school at the age of four, has just begun year nine and will be part of the first intake at the new site.

Mr Hasnain said: “I’m excited for her and all of the pupils. When I think about my daughter, this is her chance. It’s an incredibly exciting development.

“There are things that other people can go back and learn at later stages of their life if they miss them early on, but these pupils don’t always have that chance so this stage of their life is very important.”

Shadow minister for schools Nick Gibb began the works on Monday, September 7 by turning the first soil on the new site.

The school has more reason to celebrate, too, as they were this year declared a special education needs (SEN) school of excellence to match their outstanding OFSTED inspection.

New economic measures are being taken to ensure the carbon footprint of the centre is kept low, such as a biomass boiler to produce hot water, greywater harvesting to recycle non-drinking water and a living roof planted with sedum plants to absorb sound and increase insulation.

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