Consultation for SEND Specialist Units at Mendlesham and Stowupland

Suffolk County Council Capital Programme: SEND Specialist Units  

Consultation for Mendlesham Primary School and Stowupland High School

Across Suffolk there is a shortfall in specialist places available for learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).  This can mean that some pupils have to be educated away from their local communities.  Suffolk County Council has established a SEND capital programme to respond to this situation and has undertaken a rigorous commissioning process to find suitable providers.  Working through the John Milton Academy Trust (JMAT), both Mendlesham Primary School and Stowupland High School have been successful in the commissioning process and are now developing plans for specialist units on both school sites.

In order to ensure the best possible provision and delivery, the JMAT is working in partnership with SENDAT, a specialist Trust.  The unit at Mendlesham will provide 18 places for Key Stage 2 learners, and the unit at Stowupland will provide 18 places for learners at Key Stages 3 and 4.  Suffolk County Council will meet all costs connected with the units, including capital and refurbishment costs.

Both units will be an integral part of the schools and their sites.  However, the staffing and delivery of learning and teaching at the new units will be the responsibility of SENDAT.  All teaching and support posts will be new and additional to the current staffing at the schools.  Governance arrangements are in place and the units will have their own local body which will report to both Trusts.  Ultimate accountability will rest with JMAT. 

The units at both Mendlesham and Stowupland will specialise in providing support with Cognition and Learning.  Places at the units will be in addition to the current PAN (Planned Admission Number) for each school, and therefore there will not be any reduction in the number of places available in the usual admissions round.  The allocation of specialist places will, in fact, follow a separate admissions process.

This initiative reflects JMAT’s inclusive ethos and will allow learners to receive the specialist teaching and support they deserve within their local communities.  The delivery link with a specialist Trust means that the work of both schools will be enhanced, whilst ensuring that Mendlesham and Stowupland can continue to focus on their priorities and their respective improvement and development plans.

Suffolk County Council will be running a separate consultation on building plans, but please follow the link below to register your response to the SEND units for Mendlesham and Stowupland.  The consultation will run from Wednesday 9th December 2020 to Wednesday 20th January 2021.


Karen D Grimes
Chief Executive Officer