Paving the way for increased special school provision in South Yorkshire

The Shared Agenda team is drawing on its school estate planning expertise to help a South Yorkshire special school deliver increased support for some of the area’s most vulnerable children.

Newman School in Rotherham caters for young people aged two to 19 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

The school is currently oversubscribed, and the upper school is relocating to the former Dinnington College campus in Rotherham to enable more young people to benefit in the future.

The youngest and most vulnerable children will remain on the existing Newman School site, with the listed part of the current building protected and the rest of the building knocked down and rebuilt to provide dedicated facilities.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council appointed Shared Agenda to provide strategic feasibility advice and a brief for the plans.

Nikola Idle, Associate Director for Strategy at Shared Agenda, said: “We’ve worked closely with the school team to understand their curriculum vision for the upper school and collaborated with the design team to turn this into a brief for how best to redevelop the building to suit their needs.

“We’ve also supported them to write a brief, using our extensive knowledge of providing new educational facilities, for how to best redevelop the primary school site to suit modern educational delivery models.

“There is an increased need for this type of learning provision in Rotherham and we’re delighted to support the council and school team to meet the needs of even more children in the future.”

William Shaw, Head of Children and Young People’s Services Commissioning and Transformation Programmes at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, said:

“It’s been fantastic to work with the Shared Agenda team to realise the best options for our vision and progress the development of these facilities.  We have found them to be both values driven yet still highly professional and knowledgeable to work with.

“The additional capacity and services are both very much needed and will deliver improved outcomes for vulnerable children for many years to come.”

Newman School Headteacher Paul Sylvester said: “Our current school dates back to 1938 and was originally built as more of a healthcare provision and through the Department for Health. We believe that our pupils deserve modern facilities for learning in an accessible, purpose-built provision. Working with Rotherham Council and Shared Agenda to realise this vision means we’ll vastly improve our school, the environment and our ability to meet the needs of our pupils.”

A new Free School for children with social, emotional and mental health needs will also be located on the new campus, providing additional support for local children.