Reader Letter: Sheringham special education school could take 20 extra pupils with more funding

Sheringham High School and Sheringham Woodfields School. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Sheringham High School and Sheringham Woodfields School. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Tucked just behind Sheringham High School is Sheringham Woodfields School where the staff educate and care for 105 pupils aged 3-19 years, all of whom have special educational needs.

When I was shown round I was incredibly impressed, not just with the very high standard of the carefully designed classrooms, play spaces, therapies and facilities, but with the evident dedication and care shown by the staff for the pupils in their care, some of whom need a great deal of additional support.

What is also very clear is how much pupils have benefited from rebound therapy through the assisted use of the full-size trampoline. This therapy has enabled children who before were confined to wheelchairs, to build their posture and start the process of walking.

The school also offers its pupils - and pupils of other schools - sensory integration therapy which helps to support some of the additional needs of pupils, thus enabling them to concentrate on their studies.

Woodfields would like to house these facilities in a new, purpose-built building, with the trampoline at floor level. This would also, very importantly, free up the valuable space the facilities currently occupy, meaning the school could then take in up to 20 further pupils. This is particularly important given that this year over 120 children who need a place in a school like Woodfields do not have one.

The cost of the building will be around £700,000. It seems to me that this would be a great investment for both current and future pupils.

On other 'education matters', can I mention that the 2017 Summer Reading Challenge starts on July 15, for which children can sign up at their local library. They can also sign up at any time to join the Children's University.

Most Read

This provides children aged 5-14 years with the opportunity to take part in learning activities outside the normal school day at any of the 240 designated 'Learning Destinations', across the county, including local clubs and organisations.

Children who complete 30 hours of voluntary learning attend a graduation ceremony, and Fellowship Awards are given for completing 1000 hours. It is an excellent scheme, and one I hope from which many more children will be able to benefit.

Judy Oliver, District Councillor, Sheringham South; County Councillor, Sheringham