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Proposals to expand Heart of the Forest Community Special School

Published
17.05.2021

Gloucestershire County Council is asking for views on plans to make changes to Heart of the Forest Community Special School so that children with social, emotional and mental health needs can be supported locally.

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A consultation on the proposed changes to the school will begin today 17 May and last for four weeks.

If approved, the number of places available at the school will increase by 10 places to 125 with these places being available for children with SEMH, from September 2022.
There is an increasing demand in Gloucestershire for special school places which means these children sometimes have to go to schools out of the county or to independent schools when there aren’t places available locally.

The county council, with the support of Heart of the Forest school’s head teacher and governors, want to expand this provision to make sure more children have the opportunity to go to school close to where they live and that places are available where there is the most demand.

Chris Spencer, Director of Children’s Services at Gloucestershire County Council, commented: “We know there is strong support for increasing the social, emotional and mental health needs provision in the county but we want to give everyone the opportunity to tell us what they think before any decision is made at Heart of the Forest School. We’re committed to making sure all children get the education they deserve, which is why the council is investing over £100 million into our county’s schools.”

The council will be consulting with a number of stakeholders before the cabinet member for education, economy and skills makes the final decision, including parents and carers of pupils at Heart of the Forest School, local residents, local Parish Council and heads at other special schools.

If the proposals are approved, the county council will work with the school to determine what is needed to provide the required additional accommodation for pupils.

For more information and to have your say, visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/hotfs

Or, drop in at the school on Thursday 20 May between 4pm and 6pm.

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