Bespoke Special school so successful that it has been given permission to expand

Sara Waterfield
Director at Lytle Associates Architects

Planning permission was granted this week for the expansion of New Barn School.

Lytle Associates worked closely with the team at the school to create a bespoke building that would provide the best possible learning environment for the pupils; young people with statements of special educational need, whose challenging behaviour and particular needs means they can not be educated in mainstream schools.  Some of the pupils at New Barn school have been excluded from more than one mainstream school or Pupil Referral Unit and have been “school refusers” for months or even years.  The bespoke environment, pastoral support and individually tailored programmes mean these pupils can finally thrive.  The recent Ofsted report said:

 “Several parents said that there had been a ‘transformation’ in their child since starting at the school.”

The rural location is a positive feature of the school, providing a calm and spacious campus with few distractions. There are specialist facilities for art and design, science, music, woodwork and food technology. There are indoor and outdoor sports facilities. The school has spaces for an art psychotherapist, a speech and language therapist and an occupational therapist.

The informal cluster of buildings, centred around the outdoor play spaces, provides a non threatening environment which is easy to navigate and makes the pupils feel safe.

The planning permission allows the expansion of a school which is already becoming a centre of excellence for young people with severe and complex needs, and has the potential to transform their lives.

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