By Leah Conway –
Kirklees Council is proposing a £36 million rebuild for two Kirklees schools providing education catered for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The plans would invest in Joseph Norton Academy and Woodley School and College.
The council said that this investment is a significant council priority, stating that they want ‘children and young people to have the best stating in life.’ This can be supported by good-quality, local schools providing catered and enhanced educational experiences.
The Cabinet will decide on the investment on Tuesday, 5 October. If given permission, the council will start conducting site surveys and designs for the new facilities.
Both Joseph Norton Academy and Woodley School and College have had the opportunity to be involved and shape the proposals with Kirklees Council.
The proposed plans would see Joseph Norton Academy relocate to a site in Deighton, Huddersfield. Woodley School and College would relocate to a spot in Almondbury. The moves would allow both schools to increase their pupil numbers.
‘Improving the lives of our children and young people’
Cllr Carole Pattison, Cabinet member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said: “Our vision to build two new schools is incredibly ambitious and shows our commitment to families, especially those who are vulnerable. Improving the lives of our children and young people, both now and in the future, is at the heart of our proposals
“Woodley and Joseph Norton provide high standards of care and education and we would like to thank staff and families for providing this support. Equally, the facilities at both schools need to be upgraded significantly and their current sites don’t allow for this to happen.
“There is a growing demand for special school places in Kirklees and we must ensure this demand can be met in the future. Relocating these two schools, and providing brand-new facilities at a cost of £36million, would provide a wonderful opportunity.
“The proposed sites have been carefully considered – amongst many other things, we have looked at access, the potential for growth, highways issues and the scope to provide important outdoor learning. Pupils at the schools come from wide areas, so geographical location was also key.
“Ultimately, the new sites had to provide everything that is needed for children and young people with SEND. The schools have supported this process from the beginning and we all want to do the right thing for our children and families over many years to come.”
Joseph Norton Academy
Joseph Norton Academy is currently based in Scissett on the edge of Kirklees. The school caters for pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties (SEMH).
The proposed improvements would allow the school to offer more pupil spaces, benefit from modern facilities and move to a better-suited location.
Woodley School and College
Woodley School and College is currently based in Longley. It caters for pupils with Communication and Interaction/Autism Needs.
The relocation holds the potential for an improved safe and calming environment and offers places for more pupils with Communication and Interaction/Autism Needs.