Major Hillingdon school upgrades to deliver more SEND places
Thursday 31 August 2023: Work to deliver additional special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision at Hillingdon schools is gathering pace with two redevelopments nearing completion and a major project due to commence.
On Wednesday 30 August, Deputy Leader of Hillingdon Council and Cabinet Member for Property, Highways and Transport, Cllr Jonathan Bianco, and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education, Cllr Susan O'Brien visited the three schools to see the progress being made.
Ruislip Gardens Primary School, the council is providing a specialist 16-place assessment base for nursery-aged children who may need access to SEND provision, as well as a specialist resource provision with 12 places for primary-aged pupils with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC). This will include therapy rooms, hygiene rooms, sensory and soft play, ensuring it is equipped to meet a wide range of needs. Works are scheduled for completion this autumn, with the specialist resource provision due to open in September and the assessment base in mid-October.
Charville Academy, Hayes another specialist resource provision is being added, with similar facilities to those at Ruislip Gardens, and will provide places for another 16 children with ASC. These works are due for completion this winter and expected to be in use by January 2024 by eight pupils, doubling to 16 in September 2024.
Meadow High School, Uxbridge will be expanded in two phases, with design development underway on a new satellite school in Harefield which will provide 90 additional places and a new classroom block at its current site which will allow for eight additional places and 82 to be provided.
The new two-storey classroom block at the Uxbridge site will replace temporary modular classrooms which have aged and need upgrading. The block will house new classrooms and specialist teaching spaces, including science, music, food technology, fitness, sensory, hygiene, therapy, medical and quiet study rooms. These will efficiently connect with the existing school building via an internal corridor and externally by new walkways and a covered canopy area which can also be used for teaching and social activities. Six temporary classrooms are currently being installed while the construction work is carried out for pupils to use from the start of the new academic year.
Cllr Susan O'Brien, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education, said: "It's brilliant to see the progress being made to meet the demand for specialist provision in our schools.
"This project requires us to really explore how spaces at our schools are used and to examine how the buildings could be adapted, expanded or repurposed to address the increasing demand and negate any local shortage of spaces.
"We're also striving to deliver an equality of educational opportunities for every young person in the borough, so that young people with specific needs can learn alongside other pupils in an environment that enables all to thrive."