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Unity Schools Partnership and Woodhall Primary School in Sudbury has launched a public consultation to change the designation of SEND provision at the school.

Currently, Woodhall offers specialist education as part of a dedicated unit, with specially trained staff.

This gives more children the opportunity to be educated in their community, closer to home.

Woodhall currently offers 18 places to support children who require support with Communication and Interaction. These places are in addition to their current PAN (Planned Admission Number).

This means that there has not been a reduction in the number of places available in the usual admissions round. Allocation of these specialist places follows a separate admissions process.

The County Council has a statutory duty to provide sufficient school places for all children including those with special educational needs. Increasing demand for places for children with complex needs has been identified due to the existing provisions being at capacity along with a lack of provision for pupils in Reception and Key Stage 1.

We therefore propose to change the designation of the unit from Communication and Interaction to Complex Needs and to extend the age range to include Reception and Key Stage 1.

Children who already have a place at the Unit will continue to attend and the PAN will remain at 18.

Unity Schools Partnership is working alongside Suffolk County Council to develop additional specialist education places. Across Suffolk there is a shortfall of specialist places available. This can mean that some pupils have to be educated away from their local communities.

As part of a SEND capital programme, an additional 190 new specialist placements will be available for children and their families across Suffolk. This is on top of existing specialist provision.

Schools who were successful in this process, like Woodhall, worked with the Council to ensure the appropriate infrastructure and support was in place to enable these new units to be open in September 2020.

Under the Department for Education’s Making Significant Changes to an Open Academy guidance, multi-academy trusts must consult with their community when proposing to make significant changes to the operation of an open academy.

Unity Schools Partnership and Woodhall Primary School now want to hear the views of its stakeholders on this significant change proposal.

Public consultation questions

  1. Do you support Woodhall Primary School’s plans change its designation from Communication and Interaction to Complex needs?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Reasons why…

2. Do you support the school’s plan to change its designation from Key Stage 2 to Reception, Key Stage 1 and 2?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Reasons why…

3. Do you have any additional comments to make?

Please send your comments by email to projects@unitysp.co.uk.

The consultation runs from Monday 27th February 2023 until Monday 27th March 2023. Please refer to this website for any updates on the consultation.