Redbridge Council withdraws proposal to cut special needs places at Ilford school

Headteacher of Seven Kings School condemned Redbridge Councils plans to cut disabled provision afte

Headteacher of Seven Kings School condemned Redbridge Councils plans to cut disabled provision after 30 years. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

An Ilford school will keep its current number of special needs places following a council consultation which proposed to axe its special needs provision.

The consultation on the proposal to decommission special needs places at Seven Kings School ran from December until February and was carried out to determine demand for places for pupils with physical disability needs, the council said.

Following feedback from the public consultation on the provision at the Ley Street school, Redbridge Council has decided to withdraw the proposal.

The school's executive headteacher had previously condemned the plans to cut its disabled provision after 30 years.

Jane Waters said: "Our teachers have over time developed practices which are centred on the individual, this personalisation is largely due to the breadth of needs we have in Seven Kings.

"Schools in the borough and beyond are supportive and relieved to know there is a school that can care for and challenge our young people beyond their expectations, as the specialist physical disability provision at Seven Kings has been instrumental in promoting inclusivity and achievement for young people with physical disabilities in Redbridge.

"We have created a community that is at its best, inclusive, harmonious."

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Councillor Jas Athwal, leader of Redbridge Council, said the council reviews its spending each year to look at ways to best provide services that residents want and need.

"Having carefully assessed the work taking place at Seven Kings School, the institutional knowledge and trust built up over years of experience, the existing infrastructure, and the views of past and present students, I'm pleased the decision has been made to keep the existing provision," he said.

Councillor Elaine Norman, cabinet member for children and young people, said the feedback to the consultation "was very much in favour of maintaining the current arrangements".

"It was also evident that the majority of respondents believed that the council should continue to commission places at the school for students with physical disabilities," she said.

"The feedback showed that there was support for the provision continuing in its current form and that there would be continued demand for placements.

"Having carefully listened to that feedback, the council will continue to commission specialist places at the school."