What we do - Have your say! - Have Your Say! Special Schools - extended pre-consultation

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Section: What we do

Subsection: What we do - Have your say!

Have Your Say! Special Schools - extended pre-consultation

The WPCC and other interested parties have been issued with the following information by way of a further update in light of the legal case regarding the consultation process for future SEND provision in Wiltshire.



People encouraged to have their say as extended consultation on vision for special schools in Wiltshire goes live

The extended consultation on how Wiltshire Council can best invest at least £20m into providing special school education in the future is now live.

People are encouraged to have their say on the [consultation] which will be live until 6 May 2019.

Wiltshire Council has taken the decision to extend the consultation after an agreement was reached with families.

A group of families had taken a case to court about the process and had been granted a hearing to consider elements of the case, scheduled to be heard next month.

In order to foster good working relationships with families, prevent further delay and to conserve public money and cost for both parties, the council agreed a new way forward.

Wiltshire Council withdrew the decision to approve a statutory notice about the closure of three special schools (Larkrise, Rowdeford and St Nicholas), and the related notice regarding the opening of a new special school in Rowdeford.

Wiltshire Council will now treat all previous consultation and responses that took place between 9 January 2019 and 1 March 2019 as part of a pre-publication consultation. This means they are part of an initial consultation on what proposals should be published for further consideration. This is a process with a number of steps, and the council is re-opening the first stage. The council will reach a decision about the next steps after the end of the extended consultation period.

The previous proposal to close the three special schools, Rowdeford, Larkrise and St Nicholas and to build a new school at Rowdeford remains an option. However, Wiltshire Council will take into consideration all responses which differ from those as part of an inclusive and wide-ranging reconsideration of consultation submissions.

Consultation responses already provided to the council will be automatically considered as pre-publication consultation, and do not need to be resubmitted. If you would like to submit further information, please note that this can be forwarded to specialschools@wiltshire.gov.uk.

A new decision on the steps to be taken should then be made by the council’s cabinet this summer. A summer decision will mean that the timetable for future SEND provision will still be met.

Terence Herbert, Corporate Director, Children and Education, said: “We all want the very best for our children and young people with SEND. Schools in the north of the county are full and there will need to be an additional 220 spaces by 2023. We want to work with families and staff to find a solution that both meets the need for additional places, improves outcomes for children and young people with special needs and disabilities who are educated in our mainstream, as well as special schools. To achieve this, we will carry out further consultation and work with all our families so we can focus on the important job of providing all our pupils with the best education and support.”


Update - 29th March 2019

The Council has also set up some opportunities to have a face-to-face discussion. These are:-

  • Friday 5th April 10:30am-12:00pm in Chippenham (Venue: Hardenhuish School, Colborne Room – SN14 6RJ)
  • Thursday 2nd May 6:30pm-8:00pm in Trowbridge (Venue: The John of Gaunt School, The Hub – BA14 9EH)


A third event in Devizes is also planned for Friday 3rd May (10:30-12:00pm) – venue to be confirmed.

If you would like to attend one of these events, please email Specialschools@wiltshire.gov.uk to book your place.