Consultation on future of Wigan special educational needs school launched

Hope School
Hope School

A consultation on the future of a Wigan special educational needs school which could be on the move has been launched.

Parents, carers and guardians of current and prospective Hope School and College pupils are being asked to share their views on improvement plans for the facility which include relocating it to increase capacity.

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The proposals suggest moving the school, which has buildings operating beyond full capacity, to Central Park in Worsley Hall.

The plans also explore improving learning environments and modernising facilities.

The plans for the Marus Bridge facility are the first step in a 10-year transformation of Wigan's special educational needs schools being overseen by Wigan Council.

Coun Jenny Bullen, Wigan Council's portfolio holder for children and young people, said: “We want all of our learners to be taught and nurtured in buildings where both they, teachers and support staff have access to the best space, facilities and resource.

“This is part of a long-term plan, which will ensure that pupils have access to a quality education.”

The council says moving Hope School would increase school places to accommodate more learners.

A consultation phase is now under way with staff, parents and governors asked to submit their views by Friday December 6.

Coun Bullen said: “It’s really important that as many people affected by these changes submit their views to us before the closing date.

“Gathering the views of our families is key to ensuring the plans can be designed with local need at heart.

“Hope School and College is already working over capacity, which can impact on a child’s learning experience.

“Our proposals will not only combat this but will help us to improve the condition of our special school buildings, develop new provision within mainstream schools and improve our overall offer to the children and young people needing specialist support.”

If the plans are approved, it is hoped that relocation works will begin in 2021.

Drop-in sessions will be held at the end of November so staff, governors and parents can speak directly with council officers.

Following the consultation, all responses will be collated and presented to Wigan Council’s cabinet members.

Wigan Council’s cabinet earlier this year approved the 10-year plan to improve special educational needs provision across the borough.

To fill the survey in online, visit www.wigan.gov.uk/HopeSchoolCollegeConsultation.