Special needs schools in Warwick to merge

Warwickshire County Council has announced that two special needs schools in Warwick are to merge following a public consultation which took place earlier this year.

Round Oak School on Brittain Lane and Ridgeway School on Deansway will operate as one school beginning 1 September.

Both will remain open under Ridgeway’s name and leadership, with Ridgeway operating as a primary school and Round Oak as a secondary.

The change was needed due to anticipated demand for provision for children with Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), with an additional 78 places needed in the Leamington and Warwick area by 2023.

Since Round Oak is currently under-subscribed and operating under an interim headteacher and interim board of governors, the move to merge with Ridgeway will increase stability and resilience for both teachers and pupils.

A single ‘all-through’ school catering for children from primary through to secondary will lead to economies of scale, enabling school leaders to make more efficient use of resources, ensuring that children progress well and achieve good outcomes.

It will also bring Warwick in line with all other areas of the county which have ‘all-through’ special needs schools.

Cllr Colin Hayfield, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for Education and Learning, said:

“The reorganisation of these schools into one school will increase capacity for children and young people with SEND in Warwick, thereby reducing the need for pupils to travel outside the county.

“It will also significantly reduce the stress of moving from primary to secondary school, which can be considerable for children.

“There is also a real benefit to the merged school having two buildings, both of which can be used flexibly depending upon need, enabling us to keep disruption to individual children to an absolute minimum, and create more opportunities for students.”