Have your say on proposals to open new facilities for children with special educational needs

This image shows children during a school lesson. Consultation: Facilities for children with special educational needs

The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead is consulting until Friday 24 February on plans to open new facilities for children with special educational needs, which will allow more children with special educational needs to attend a local school.  

The council would like feedback on plans to create an Early Years School Readiness Hub at The Lawns Nursery School, in Windsor, and to establish up to four more Resource Bases attached to mainstream schools in Maidenhead and Windsor. The funding for the proposed new facilities comes from a government grant. 

The Hub will provide short-term early intervention support for children aged four to seven who are not yet ‘school-ready’ due to difficulties in regulating their emotions and behaviour. These children will not attend The Lawns Nursery School itself and will remain on the roll for their mainstream ‘home’ school.

The first of its kind in the Royal Borough, the Hub will allow children to benefit from early specialist support, so that they can successfully continue their education at their ‘home’ school.

The council is also consulting on plans to establish up to four new Resource Bases attached to mainstream schools. These are for children who have Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) but can, with support, attend a mainstream school.

Children attending a Resource Base are taught in line with their ability, individual needs and the requirements set out in their EHCP. They will spend some of their school day in the Base and some in the school’s mainstream classes. Children in a Resource Base will be of the same age range as the school, excluding nursery. Potentially, therefore, these proposals will benefit children aged 5 to 16+.

Eight such Bases are already successfully open, or scheduled to open, in the borough, and the council has been working with schools to identify where further Bases could go. In partnership with these schools, the council is consulting on the following possible options: Cox Green School and Desborough College, both in Maidenhead; and Hilltop First School, and Trevelyan Middle School, both in Windsor.

For further details and to take part, please visit www.rbwm.gov.uk/home/council-and-democracy/consultations/education-consultations or use the public-access computers available at all local libraries, where staff are happy to help you get online if needed. If you require paper copies of the consultation documents, these are also available from libraries upon request. 

Alternatively, please send comments by email to schoolplaces@achievingforchildren.org.uk or by post to Resource Bases Consultation, Zone D, Town Hall, Maidenhead, SL6 1RF.

Councillor Stuart Carroll, Cabinet Member for Children's Services, Education, Health, Mental Health, & Transformation, said: “Government funding means we have the opportunity to provide these new facilities to support local children with special educational needs, as part of creating thriving communities, and we would like to hear people’s thoughts on our plans.

“Although most children and young people with Education, Health and Care Plans can, with the right support, attend mainstream schools, many are educated in special schools, in mainstream schools outside the borough, or in the independent sector, again often outside our borough. 

“While such arrangements might suit some children and families, others might benefit from being supported to attend a mainstream school closer to their home. These proposed facilities will help more young people to do that by providing local specialist support in a timely manner with the support and involvement of local mainstream schools.”