Kings Mill Special School
|Published: 8th November 2013 17:58|
Kings Mill Special School
An East Riding special school is at the dawn of an exciting new era, with a new headteacher and a £6m rebuilding programme set to start in the new year.
Kings Mill School at Driffield has already seen major developments in the past two years. These include a recent link-up with Driffield School, where newly refurbished facilities have this term enabled Kings Mill to offer places for post-16 pupils for the first time.
An £800,000 refurbishment of the residence facility and communal areas on the Kings Mill site itself was completed two years ago.
Now a £6m re-building project is set to get underway in January to replace the other buildings on the site to provide new teaching accommodation and facilities.
This week (November 4) the school welcomed a new headteacher, Mrs Gail Lawton, former deputy head of Highbury Special School in Rastrick, Calderdale.
The two-year re-building project will be carried out in two phases. The first will involve the construction of part of the new school buildings on an adjacent former factory site. It will start in January 2014 and is due for completion in December 2014.
The second phase will see the demolition of the existing school, except for the residential facilities, and the completion of the new school building. The work is expected to start in February 2015, with completion by December of that year.
As well as the buildings, a new bus park and car park will be provided, along with hard and soft play areas and associated landscaping.
The completed project will provide all the facilities that a special school needs for pupils from ages three to 19, in line with Government standards for new schools.
Kings Mill provides facilities for children with special needs and sometimes complex learning difficulties, drawing pupils from a wide part of rural East Riding.
Until recently older teenagers with special needs have had to travel to schools outside the East Riding.
However, the council has recently also secured funding to provide purpose-built facilities for pupils aged from 16 to 19 at St Anne's Community School at Welton and post-16 provision is also planned for Riverside in Goole.
Councillor Julie Abraham, portfolio holder for children, young people and education, said: "This capital project at Kings Mill, together with the new modern and enhanced facilities already provided in partnership with Driffield School, is exactly what our children and young people with additional needs deserve to receive the best possible education and support to prepare them for life after school.
"It is a very exciting time for the pupils and staff of Kings Mill School and I look forward to seeing the accommodation when it is complete."
Mike Furbank, the council's head of children and young people, education and schools, said: "It has long been an ambition to ensure continuity of learning for our most vulnerable students and through the development of provision in our special schools we are making a difficult transition, to a school out of the area, a thing of the past.
"Young people at Kings Mill will have access to superb facilities and a genuinely inclusive environment alongside their peers at Driffield School. It represents a really wonderful learning opportunity and will bring real benefits for both schools."
Mr Furbank said Mrs Lawton will be taking over a school that has been delivering good outcomes for all its children, has been judged good by Ofsted and has secured a healthy future thanks to the tireless work of former headteacher Sarah Young, who recently retired.
Mrs Lawton said she is thrilled to be leading the school at such an exciting time.
She said the new school building will not only provide excellent enhanced facilities for students, but also reflect that Kings Mill is at the heart of the Driffield community.
It is hoped that the school will be able to create opportunities for local people to access its facilities and resources.
"At the end of the day, the most important point is that we are working together to create a wonderful new school for our pupils, and that has to be at the heart of every decision that is made," she said.