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Expanded provision for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) at Bright Futures

Meeting the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities is a valuable, intrinsic part of all good educational establishments – and so we are pleased to share news about the expansion of our specialist SEND provision across the Trust.

 Our ‘Outstanding’ specialist academy, Melland High School, has had a £3.8m expansion approved by Manchester Local Authority, increasing the school’s capacity by 70 pupil places. The Trust central team worked closely with the school to create its feasibility study and our positive working relationship with the local authority has helped to ensure that this has been a very successful and satisfying process that will significantly benefit local youngsters with special educational needs.

 Manchester is a large city and, as such, is under growing pressure to accommodate the rising numbers of children with complex educational needs. The expansion at Melland will involve a two-storey extension, providing an additional 6-8 classrooms over the ground and first floors along with associated infrastructure in order to meet the needs of more students. The work is expected to start this September and is fantastic news for the school, the Trust and the local communities – and not just the pupils at the school itself, but also those at Cedar Mount Academy, who share many of the fantastic facilities at Gorton Education Village.

 In addition, Marton Primary Academy has partnered with Blackpool Children’s Services, to develop an additionally resourced provision on site for nursery and primary aged children with moderate learning difficulties and children with autistic spectrum disorders. Some pupils who have an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) to meet their special needs require a higher level of specialist support than can be provided in a mainstream setting. However, their needs are not so complex that they require a place at a special school. This is where Marton will come in, having opened a 32-place Additionally Resourced Provision with effect from 2021. 

 Meanwhile, one of the new academies in our Trust, The Orchards, is adding further capacity and expertise to the level of existing SEND expertise. The Orchards is a specialist free school catering for children with a wide range of special educational needs and disabilities. All of the children at the school have difficulties with cognition and learning, with the majority having moderate to severe learning difficulties. With five specific learning pathways designed to meet the needs of all the children, The Orchards is recognised by Ofsted as a ‘Good’ school with a clear vision and a stable team, with happy pupils. We have, of course, welcomed four other new academies to the Trust, all of which provide specialist provision where needed. Being in a MAT means we share best practice across all aspects of education, so all the schools benefit from the expertise of the others.

 Dr John Wm Stephens, CEO at Bright Futures Educational Trust, says: “We have a long-standing and successful commitment to high-quality inclusive education for all pupils. Our vision is for children and young people to enjoy and succeed in their learning by accessing the most inclusive environments possible – and be supported to participate fully in the life of their schools and local communities. Our ethos after all, is the best for everyone, the best from everyone. We are delighted about the new plans and all that they will bring in terms of strengthening further our work with the children, families and communities that we serve.”

Proud to part of the Bright Futures Education Trust
The Hub
144 Irlam Road, Flixton
Manchester M41 6NA