Community asked to have their say on new special school

A CGI mock up what the school might look like

An artist's impression of what the new school in Fakenham could look like. - Credit: R G Carter

People have been asked to share their views on a new complex needs school as a six-week consultation begins.

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Academies Trust (SENDAT) is holding a six-week public consultation for Fakenham’s new Duke of Lancaster School.

The school, which is being built on the site of the former Fakenham Sixth Form College, on Wells Road, wants to hear from parents, residents and community groups on their views and provide a chance for them to ask questions.

building site of new Fakenham school

Concrete being poured at the Duke of Lancaster site in February 2021 - Credit: SENDAT

There will also be information on access and transport, how the school will operate within Fakenham, how admissions will work and the vision and ethos of the school.

The consultation will run from February 22 until April 4. It will include an online survey and a free online two-hour event on February 25.

The school, which laid its foundation last month, is part of Norfolk County Council’s £120m programme to transform special education.

A man stands in front of the fencing at the school's building site

County councillor for Fakenham, Tom FitzPatrick at the school site in the market town. - Credit: Tom FitzPatrick

Norfolk county councillor for Fakenham Tom Fitzpatrick said: “I was very keen to see a much-needed school to meet the needs of young people with autism and other special educational needs provided on the site. 

"I see the nearly £25m cost of this school as a real investment in the town and its young people and am really pleased to have been able to be a part of making this happen.”

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Set to open in January 2022, the Duke of Lancaster School will provide a modern learning environment for up to 100 children and young people, aged between five and 16, with autism and complex communication and interaction needs.

a building site showing a building's foundation

The Duke of Lancaster site, in January, as the foundations are laid. - Credit: SENDAT

Chief executive of SENDAT Lawrence Chapman said: “We are committed to supporting Norfolk’s transformational programme and working with parents/carers and young people to develop the specialist resources they need. We will be further developing our website over the next few weeks and months to share information as it is available.”

The online survey and a link to book a place to attend the online event can be found at sendat.academy/dukeoflancaster/

For further information or to request a hard copy of the online consultation event or questionnaire, please email consultation@dukeoflancaster.sendat.academy or call 01284 717872.

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