A NEW school in Salisbury for students with special educational needs and / or disabilities (SEND) hopes to open in the fall of 2023.
SAIL Academy will provide 150 places for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASC) and for those with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs.
The preferred site for the school is the former South Wiltshire University Technical College (UTC) on Wilton Road.
The school will be managed by Reach South Academy Trust and delivered by the Department of Education (DfE).
Jon Hamp, Director of Reach South for Individual Needs, said: “I am extremely proud of the work we are doing to get this new school going. Our hope is that this new school will create a sense of positivity and possibility – something we all need right now.
“This will be a great project for Salisbury – and it will be a great school that we can all be proud of. We are working closely with our colleagues at Wiltshire Council and the Department of Education to realize our exciting vision, and we look forward to being able to open our doors in September 2023. ”
An opening in the fall of 2022 was initially considered, but a statement released by the Wiltshire Council says that due to “issues of Covid-19 and other widespread program risks such as workforce issues and material resources, a more realistic forecast opening date is autumn 2023 “.
Dean Ashton, Managing Director of Reach South Academy Trust, added: “Everyone at Reach South is committed to meeting the needs of children. We are proud to be able to open SAIL in Salisbury and look forward to a strong working partnership in the county.
The Wiltshire Council said it is working closely with Reach South and the Department of Education to ensure that SAIL Academy can be open to students from autumn 2023 and that work continues with families as well. to ensure that students can access places in existing schools for the next school. year.
A spokesperson for DfE said: “The department always strives to minimize the time a project spends in pre-opening. This includes working with trusts to carefully balance the priority of opening on the desired date against all of the elements that need to be in place to ensure the success of a free school when it opens.
“We will work with partners over the next few months to finalize indicative timetables for the school opening date and continue to prioritize the needs of children to provide them with the educational opportunities and support they deserve.” .
Cllr Jane Davies, Member of SEND at Wiltshire Council, added: “We have a larger long term plan to make sure we have enough places in Wiltshire for children and young people with SEND. We are working closely with our partners on this important work for the south to ensure that the school is open and ready for learners with SEND.
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