£1.6m project to see Wellingborough special school's mobile classrooms replaced as Kettering SEND pupils given temporary building

The spending plan was approved by North Northants Council’s executive on Thursday, December 22
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

A £1.6m project to build two new permanent classrooms at a Wellingborough special school has been given the go-ahead by North Northants Council’s (NNC) executive committee.

But, as temporary units at Rowan Gate School’s Wellingborough site are replaced with permanent building, mobile classrooms will still be installed at another school.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Wren Spinney in Kettering will have £190,000 spent on the temporary classroom, to be funded from NNC’s SEND (Special educational needs and disability) capital grant.

Rowan Gate School WellingboroughRowan Gate School Wellingborough
Rowan Gate School Wellingborough

Isebrook SEND College, also in Kettering, will see an expansion with an increase of £341,000 to the capital programme for 2022/23, also to be funded from the SEND capital grant.

Cllr Scott Edwards, NNC’s executive member for children, families, education and skills, said: “I am relieved that mobile classrooms (are) being removed for full building space.”

Rowan Gate Primary School, that also has a site in Rushden, is oversubscribed and the current Wellingborough site does not comply with building standard guidelines for special schools.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The temporary double classroom unit should have been removed before the end of 2020. Permission to retain the temporary structure through March of that year was initially granted in January 2016.

Cllr Edwards told a meeting on Thursday that there is a shortage of places for children with special needs. Built for 90 pupils in 1998, currently Rowan Gate’s Wellingborough campus has 140 pupils attending – the plan will ensure there is permanent capacity for all 140 pupils once the work is complete.

The work is expected to take a year, starting in summer 2023, with the new classrooms ready for the 2024/25 school year. The school has been rated as outstanding by Ofsted since 2011.

Money allocated to Wren Spinney School will pay for the installation of a mobile classroom to accommodate eight pupils plus one teacher and three classroom support assistants.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Isebrook SEND College in Kettering will see an expansion of the school funded by an additional £341,000 from the SEND capital grant. NNC has already approved £532,000 to provide 10 new secondary SEND places in the 2022/23 academic year, rising to a total of 20.