Have your say on new education centre proposal
A consultation on a proposal to create a specialist education centre for children with Social Emotional and Mental Health at Kennet Valley Primary School in Calcot is now live.
A consultation on a proposal to create a specialist education centre for children with Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) at Kennet Valley Primary School in Calcot began today, 20 September 2022.
In West Berkshire, a significant number of children have SEMH needs. Some require more specialised support to thrive, making it difficult to meet their needs within a typical mainstream school.
We're proposing that a new SEMH unit for 12 children be established at Kennet Valley School. The quality of Kennet Valley's SEND provision, as well as its advocacy for Therapeutic Teaching, has been recognised by the Council, local families and Ofsted making the school a strong potential host for this provision.
By hosting this provision, Kennet Valley will become a highly specialised mainstream school, with a range of integrated services and expertise, which all children and families attending the school will benefit from. Children attending the SEMH unit will benefit from having their needs met by a local and specialised setting, but will also be valued and cared for as part of Kennet Valley's existing school culture; taking part in school events and sharing school facilities where appropriate.
Dominic Boeck, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Education, Children and Young people says, "Although there is a spectrum of specialised provision in West Berkshire, the range of settings which can support SEMH is very limited. This means that some children need to travel outside the district for their education making it more difficult for them to access other services they may need. By creating a provision, we hope to be able to offer a high quality, local setting to meet the needs of these children and make it easier for them to access a range of support nearer to where they live."
What happens next?
Your feedback will be taken into consideration, and a recommendation will be put to Head of Education for a final decision in November 2022. If the decision is to proceed to the next stage, detailed planning and design will begin.
This proposal forms part of the West Berkshire SEND Strategy, which was co-produced with local families and stakeholders in 2018. The Castle @ Theale, a maintained setting for secondary aged children with SEMH in West Berkshire, opened in September 2022.
To comment on our proposal, please complete our online survey by midnight on Monday, 31 October 2022, which should take about 5 minutes.
We're also holding a public seminar with representatives from the Council's Education and Property Services, Kennet Valley School's Leadership Team and our Executive Member for Education. The panel will give a short presentation on the proposals before answering questions submitted by the public. The seminar will be held in person at Kennet Valley school hall on Tuesday, 27 September 2022 between 6.30pm and 7.30pm.
Attendance will be limited to 110 for health and safety reasons, and places will be offered on a first come, first served basis.
If you have any questions about the consultation or would like a copy of the detailed proposal document and consultation in an alternative or physical format, please email SENConsultations@westberks.gov.uk, call 01635 519713 or write to SEN and Disabled Children's Service, West Berkshire Council, Market Street Offices, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 5LD.
See more information about the proposal and seminar and have your say here www.westberks.gov.uk/SEMHKennetValley