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Work starts on £4 million special educational needs and disabilities school in Devon

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Refurbishment work has started on a former care home building in Tiverton, Devon, which is being transformed into a new £4 million special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) school. The major refurbishment programme, designed and project managed by NPS South West on behalf of Devon County Council is being delivered by Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure.

Charlton Lodge, which is located on Orchard Way, will be a co-education ‘free school’ and will be run by Plymouth-based ACE Schools Trust.

The new school will cater for 70 pupils, aged 11-16, of moderate to high ability SEND requirements, and is due to open in September 2019.

SEND provisions are currently in high demand across mid-Devon, with projected housing growth in the area meaning that greater numbers of SEND school places will be needed to meet this demand over the next 15-20 years.

Nigel Whelan, area director at Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure, said: “Devon County Council’s investment in the future of Tiverton’s SEND school provisions will ensure that even more families across the region can have access to world-class teaching facilities for their children.

“Charlton Lodge will be an outstanding SEND educational centre, featuring bright, spacious and inspiring facilities that will allow pupils to get the best out of their education journey. We’re proud to have built a fantastic collaborative partnership with Devon County Council and NPS South West and we’re looking forward to working with them once again as we deliver Charlton Lodge.”

Devon's Cabinet member for schools, James McInnes, said: "Devon County Council is investing over £4 million into this new special school for vulnerable children with autism and social, emotional and mental health needs.

"It will cater for 70 boys and girls aged from 11 to 16 and will open next September.

"This will provide high-quality care and education for the growing number of children in our county who have special educational needs, closer to their homes.

"That's important for them and their families. It's also an important investment by Devon County Council because our budget for high needs' pupils is under intense pressure. This means we can look after these children in a Devon school rather than relying on expensive private and independent provision."

Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure’s project partners include NPS South West and design and building consultancy Hamson Barron Smith.

Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure is currently working on major schemes across the South West. In Okehampton, the company is delivering a new £1.6 million sixth-form centre for Okehampton College on behalf of Devon County Council.