Elmfield School's new sites confirmed

January 21 2022

Further steps have been taken to support and invest in services for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Bristol.
Significant improvements will be made to Elmfield School for Deaf Children, including a new, £8m state-of-the-art school building designed for the sensory needs of deaf children, following planning approval being granted.
The city’s cabinet has also approved a decision to extend the SEND and You (SAY) information, advice, and support service (formerly known as SENDIASS) until March 2023 at cost of over £500,000 since the contract was first awarded in 2019.
These steps form part of the council's approach to delivering improvements to SEND services which will see over £28m invested in Bristol’s special schools.
They follow a damning report from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission in 2019 on Bristol's SEND provision.
Councillor Asher Craig, cabinet lead for children’s services, education and equalities said: “I am really pleased to see these exciting projects go ahead, and to know that the children and families who attend Elmfield School for the Deaf will soon have access to a well-designed space that fully meets their needs. We are committed to inclusion and equality and our actions are testament to this. We have made a significant investment in our SEND provision and will continue to make improvements.”
The SEND Sufficiency and Capital Investment programme includes major improvements to special schools through refurbishment and new builds, including the redevelopment of Claremont School plus a new Independent Living Centre at the City of Bristol College.
As part of the improvement programme, Elmfield Early Years and Primary will relocate to a new building on a shared site with Upper Horfield Community School, while Elmfield’s secondary unit will be moving from its current base within Fairfield High School to a more spacious site on the Redland Green school site in a separate but joined, large building which is currently occupied by Claremont Secondary School. Claremont, which is also a special school, is soon to be in a new, purpose-built £15m building in Henleaze.
 The council says the projects will create approximately 50 new special school places, for students with certain types of SEND.
It comes as new figures show Bristol is still failing to meet its legal duty to issue all education, health and care plans for children with SEND within 20 weeks of a request
Along with other local authorities, the council is coming under “unprecedented” demand for the plans while facing a growing black hole in its schools budget.
You can find out more about Bristol City Council’s SEND services via the Local Offer website. If you need information or advice about early support for your child's additional needs, please contact FLORA on 0117 352 6020 or via email: flora@bristol.gov.uk