We are delighted to announce that the school has received notification that we have been successful in our bid for specialist school status. We are now recognised as a specialist school in SEN (Cognition and learning).
Specialist school status is a national scheme for secondary which requires schools firstly to gain sponsorship from the world of business and secondly demonstrate through a bid process that given additional funding they can improve attainment and achievement both in their own schools and partner schools in the community.
Designation results in capital funding of £100,000 for the school to improve facilities to help deliver their specialist school plan and 3 years of annual funding of up to £60,000 dependent on the size of the school to resource and deliver the targets set by the school for pupil achievement.
Schools can achieve specialisms in subject areas or broader areas such as technology business arts or modern foreign languages. In addition to subjects there is the route for designation in special educational needs with a specific specialism either in cognition and learning, communication and interaction, emotional and behavioural difficulties, physical disabilities or specific learning difficulties. We chose to apply for cognition and learning because that best fits the holistic nature of our work we do with pupils.
Our sponsorship came from B&M Waste a company based on the Wirral. Through an intermediary B&M offered the school some mobile accommodation previously used as offices to the school valued in the region of £65,000 for free, the school only paying the cost of removing it from their site and placing it on the school site. This donation would count as sponsorship thereby allowing us to make the bid for specialist school status and also gave us the additional accommodation we desperately needed to provide additional activities in school and a venue for on-site training for our community partners.
We are extremely grateful to B&M for their support. Over the next three years we will be working to deliver the targets we set out in our bid and achieve the outcomes for pupils we planned for. The capital funding has paid for bringing on site the new accommodation, equipping it and adapting it for our purposes. We now have a training room, an additional meeting room, a new life skills area for our FE students and additional teaching space. We are also planning to expand and improve our multi-sensory facilities.