Yarrow Heights School planning a new Centre of Excellence for Special Education Needs in Southampton | #specialneeds | #kids


SOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdon, Jan. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A consortium of specialist education investors has acquired the former site of the Senior Department of St. Mary’s Independent School in Bitterne Grove, Southampton. The site has been renamed Yarrow Heights School.

“The plan is to establish a new day school for pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN), aiming to open in September 2021. The school will serve the needs of an increasing school-aged population diagnosed with SEN in South East England,”said Anne Marie Carrie, Chairperson of Yarrow Heights School and former CEO of Barnardo’s, the UK’s largest children’s charity.

The number of school aged children diagnosed with acute SEN in South East England has increased 46% from 2015/16 to 2019/20.[1]  Most of these children struggle to cope in mainstream school settings. Experts anticipate that the impact of COVID on children’s mental health and wellbeing will also fuel additional growth over the coming years.

“Our leadership team have spent their careers in specialist children’s education. Yarrow Heights School is the opportunity to build a Centre of Excellence to be a new resource for the community,” continued Anne Marie.

Karen Gaster, the Head Teacher, has an 18-year career in specialist education with both Local Authority and Independent special needs schools. “There are simply not enough high-achieving specialist schools to meet the needs of these young people,” Karen said.

Yarrow Heights School will offer an enhanced curriculum integrating academic and vocational learning with therapy. A high staff-to-pupil ratio and dedicated therapy teams will deliver the National Curriculum to achieve externally recognised qualifications, academic, vocational, and life skills.

Starting from scratch, a new technology platform will underpin the delivery of the curriculum to engage pupils, measure their progress, and enable 2-way communication with parents. Our Inclusion and Family Team will provide tailored outreach support to parents in order to empower families and improve short and long-term outcomes for children.

The school will be co-ed, 7-16 years old with a capacity of 60 pupils.

For questions, please contact Anne Marie Carrie, Chairperson at [email protected]

[1] Table showing Headcount for ‘Age and gender – by SEN provision, type of need and school type’ for Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Profound & Multiple Learning Difficulty, Severe Learning Difficulty, Social, Emotional and Mental Health and Statement or EHC from ‘Special educational needs in England‘ in South East between 2015/16 and 2019/20, https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/special-educational-needs-in-england

SOURCE Yarrow Heights School

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