Hartlepool to get a new school for pupils with the most complex needs

Published Thursday, 23rd July 2020

A new multi-million pound school for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is set to be built in Hartlepool.

The free school – which will provide specialist education for youngsters with social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH) – has been announced by the Government following the successful submission of a proposal for the facility from Hartlepool Borough Council.

Subject to planning permission, the state-of-the-art school will be built on land off Brenda Road and will cater for up to 50 young people aged between 7 and 18.

The construction will be funded by the Department for Education. The school will be run by Spark of Genius, a specialist provider of education for young people with SEND, which will work closely with the Council.

It is hoped that the new school will be up and running by the start of the new school year in 2022.

Councillor Leisa Smith, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Children’s Services Committee, said: “We are committed to ensuring that every young person in Hartlepool gets the best possible start in life, so we are delighted that the Government has announced that it is building and funding this new school in the town.

“We had made a very passionate and compelling case for it as we currently don’t have sufficient SEND provision within Hartlepool for young people with social, emotional and mental health needs and as a result we have to send a number of young people out of town to get the specialist education they need.

“Thanks to this fantastic new school, they will be able to receive the support they need close to home, which will be wonderful for them and for their families.”

Zak McIlhargey, Managing Director of Spark of Genius, added: “Spark of Genius are honoured to be taking forward this exciting and much-needed new provision.

“As a longstanding provider of education and support for young people with SEMH, we are committed to improving the life chances of every child and family we work with, and the new school offers a unique opportunity to do so.

“We look forward to working very closely with the Council, the Department for Education, parents, carers and with the young people themselves in achieving the highest quality of education for young people in Hartlepool who need it the most.”