Report from the Strategic Director for Children and Young People’s Services.
1. Approve the development of the Rowan site to create a new high-quality learning environment for 14-19 SEND students in the Rotherham area.
2. Approve the transfer of the building and funding release from Accessibility funding to support the development of the site to meet the requirement of the SEND needs of pupils.
Consideration was given to the report which followed previous reports to Cabinet relating to closing the Rowan Centre as a provision following a successful transition of pupils to Elements at Dinnington where their needs could be better met. The process according to the Department for Education guidelines was followed and at the previous meeting authority was delegated to the Strategic Director for Children and Young People’s Service to seek formal expressions of interest to enhance the education provision in the borough by seeking a sponsor to establish some provision at the site.
Nexus MAT had been identified as the appropriate partner to take forward the use of the Rowan site. This would provide an improved pathway for 14–19-year-olds to access education along with vocational learning and skills for life.
It would improve the outcomes for children and people with SEND and aid to reduce the number of those not in employment, education or training. The proposal would also provide increased capacity within special educational needs provisions within Rotherham by 25 places from September 2023.
The Leader welcomed the ability to continue an education provision on the site.
The Assistant Director: Education and Inclusion noted that this was a culmination of different areas of the Council working in partnership. It was a new and innovative approach to defining provision to meet required needs. It would create a space that allowed growth with would be focused on the best outcomes for all.
A typographical error was noted in section 2.7 of the report which mentioned that “Twenty-five places at Hilltop Special School will be available from Autumn term 2023 in phase 1 of the project development and a further twenty-five places will be created at Kelford Special School in phase 2 of the transition of pupils in spring term 2023.” The year of the spring term mentioned was corrected to 2024.
Resolved: That Cabinet:
1. Approved the development of the Rowan site to create a new high-quality learning environment for 14-19 SEND students in the Rotherham area.
2. Approved the transfer of the building and funding release from Accessibility funding to support the development of the site to meet the requirement of the SEND needs of pupils.