East Dunbartonshire Council is seeking comments on its proposal to close the area’s two special schools – Campsie View School in Lenzie and Merkland School in Kirkintilloch – and invest in one state-of-the-art facility.
The new school will be able to accommodate 200 children and young people with complex learning needs who require high levels of support and could open as early as school session 2021/22.
Councillor Jim Goodall, convener of the council’s education committee, explained the background to the proposal: “Over the last year council officers and staff and parents from both schools set up a working group to look at how service provision for these children and young people could be improved.
“Drawing on the invaluable life experiences of these families and listening to our specialist staff has enabled us to develop a proposal that offers significant educational benefits for the young people.”
Current limitations on space and resources bring challenges for staff working to provide the children and young people with the help and support they need.
The proposed new school would address these constraints and include on-site nursery provision. It would also be of a vibrant, modern design to provide flexible, adaptable and accessible indoor and outdoor learning for children of all ages.
Proposals for the new school come alongside other important changes to services for young people with additional support needs in East Dunbartonshire.
Last month, following an extensive consultation process, the council agreed to establish enhanced support bases at Castlehill Primary in Bearsden and Wester Cleddens Primary in Bishopbriggs. From August 2018, staff in these bases will work with children with additional support needs who can thrive in mainstream education with the right support.
These bases are in addition to language and communication resources already established in Bearsden Academy, Bishopbriggs Academy and St Ninian’s High School in Kirkintilloch which also support young people in a mainstream setting.
Councillor Goodall added: “Helping all young people to achieve their potential and enjoy the very best possible educational experience is about offering them the right help and support in the right environment.”
The consultation will last for seven weeks.