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Matthew Hancock
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Public consultation on new school bid

Wednesday, 19th December 2012.

The Castle Partnership held a public consultation yesterday evening in preparation for their bid to create a free school in Haverhill for pupils with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

There is currently no school in Suffolk for so-called SEBD pupils, although there are good pupil referral units, and some are sent as far away as the north of England.

Castle Manor head Madeline Vigar explained there were currently about 90 pupils in Suffolk who fell into this category.

A few are on the streets of Haverhill after exclusion and Ms Vigar said she had seen them outside the Drabbet Smock and felt the system ought to be doing more for them.

The proposed school would be for about 100 seven to 16-year-olds from within a 35-mile radius, who were not coping with, or had been excluded from, mainstream education.

It would not be like the new free school being planned at Samuel Ward, which is for pupils with Special Educational Needs, who would require a Statement.

Locations suggested so far are: the former Castle Hill Middle School site; next to Place Farm School; or somewhere on the Castle Manor site.

The Castle Hill site is currently earmarked for new housing by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

Views from the public need to be in by January the 4th, to be included in the bid. Ms Vigar said such bids were not usually successful first time round, but they would keep on trying.

One crucial element the school is still looking for is a local partner employer to work with.

Haverhill Online News

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