Exciting new plans to move and expand Colchester special school
9 January 2017
Proposals to relocate and expand a special school in Colchester have moved a step closer after an outline business case was approved.
Essex County Council wants to move Lexden Springs School from its existing base in Halstead Road, Lexden, to a new state-of-the-art campus on the former Heath School site in Winstree Road, Stanway.
The plans would increase the school’s capacity from 120 pupils to 200, while 30 boarding places would also be made available.
Existing buildings on the former Heath School site would be demolished and replaced with a new two-storey main school building and neighbouring building to provide boarding accommodation.
Subject to consultation and planning processes, building work should start in March 2018 and be completed by September 2019.
The scheme is part of Essex County Council’s plans to spend about £85million on creating more than 400 new special school places across Essex.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “We are committed to ensuring all pupils in Essex receive the best possible education and the county’s schools are equipped to meet pupils’ individual needs.
“Plans to relocate Lexden Springs School have been in the pipeline for a long time and I am very pleased the project is now moving forward.
“We recognise that the existing facilities are not fit for purpose and look forward to pupils moving to their new state-of-the-art school in September 2019.
“The expansion of the school will also help meet the increased demand for special school places in the area and reduce the need for children to be educated at independent schools or outside of Essex.”
Simon Wall, Headteacher at Lexden Springs School, added: “We are all thrilled and delighted here at Lexden Springs and would like to thank the local authority for approving the outline business case for this desperately-needed new build.
“It will be wonderful to have world class purpose-built facilities for our very special students and our dedicated staff team.
“The ability to have boarding pupils will help to prevent the breakdown of families and lead to improved outcomes for our pupils.”
The record £85million investment in creating new special school places in Essex comes following an increase in the number of young people in the county being diagnosed with autism and amid a growing demand for special school places.
It includes £42million from the Essex Schools Forum, as well as £43million of capital funding from Essex County Council.