West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) members will meet next week to consider plans to open a new 45-place unit for children with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) at a Northamptonshire school.
The cabinet will discuss proposals for the second phase of the Hunsbury Park Primary scheme, to provide more places for children with special educational needs.
Phase one of this plan was completed in September last year and saw the first 20 places open to children. However, they were faced with construction constraints that were set to cause significant delays to the project.
The council said it has consulted parents, carers, residents and other stakeholders over plans to relocate the second phase of the scheme to Chiltern Primary School, about two miles away from the Hunsbury Park Primary School site.
The proposal would accommodate children with ASC in a supported school place that meets their needs, as part of building improvement works progressing at the Chiltern school site for the benefit of all pupils.
It would be completed in a faster time frame than those posed due to construction delays. If approved by cabinet the unit at Chiltern Primary would open next month, operated by Hunsbury’s specialist SEND staff.
This would increase the total of number of SEND places across the two phases of the project from 50 to 75. Cllr Fiona Baker is the Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills at WNC.
She said: “I would like to thank the parents, carers, residents and stakeholders who took the time to have their say in the consultation or come along to the information sessions and it’s really encouraging to see nearly three quarters support the proposals.
“I do recognise the issues around construction delays at Hunsbury have prompted a degree of uncertainty and worry for some parents and I’m sorry for any impact this has caused and thank them all for bearing with us as we’ve worked towards new solutions that will ensure there isn’t further delay to children accessing their school place.
“We continue to work incredibly closely with both Hunsbury Park Primary and Chiltern Primary and an executive leadership model has been put in place with the current Headteacher of Hunsbury Park Primary acting as the new Executive Headteacher at Chiltern Primary school from 1 September 2023.”
Also on the agenda will be the outcome of a public consultation regarding the future plans for Boniface Care Home in Brixworth. The residential care home is operated by the Council and has been significantly under-occupied over the last few years.
Only 13 residents occupy the 46 spaces currently available in the home. This is due to the outdated design and build of the site, which means it no longer provides the much-needed facilities to meet the needs of people who require residential care.
With no ensuite provisions, the level of privacy to residents is significantly impacted and there is reduced accessibility for wheelchairs and hoists. As a result, Cabinet is being asked to consider the proposal to close the care home.
As part of this, the Council will support residents to move to alternative residential care accommodation within the local area providing a suitable environment to meet their individual needs.