It is saddening that one of our leading local special educational needs (SEN) schools is having difficulties getting agreement to install secondary education provision for local students.
I have had the pleasure of visiting Abbey Court School a number of times and have seen first-hand the excellent work of its primary education provision. All of Abbey Court’s teachers and staff are dedicated in providing the best education and services for local pupils with special education needs and the results have delivered positive Ofsted ratings.
That is why I have been keen to support its bid to expand into secondary education and since last year have been in contact with the school, Medway Council and the Education Secretary to find funding options. The government has confirmed there are options available but work will be needed to secure the desired result, and most important of all there needs to be open cooperation between the School and the Council.
Abbey Court has previously explored options to facilitate the opening of a secondary education facility and following communication with the Education Secretary there are some new avenues which I will be exploring with them and the Council. There are also alternative funding opportunities all parties are looking into, however this will need a strong case to secure and again this is something I continue to assist on.
I am delighted to be visiting the School again once the new term starts to see how much further it has come and to discuss these secondary provision options. I know this is a hugely important issue for many parents and I am pleased to work with all parties in order to arrive at the best possible outcome with the present and future in mind.
Abbey Court is a wonderful school and ought to have an exciting future providing the best possible education for special educational needs pupils and it would be fantastic to provide this continuity of learning in one place.