Proposals to formally consult on removing residential facilities at Maplewell Hall special school will be considered by the county council’s ruling cabinet next week (24 Nov).
A report published today shows that, following informal consultation, councillors are set to proceed with the plans to close the 20-bed facility, which is part of the Woodhouse Eaves school.
The proposals, outlined back in September, reflect that none of the Maplewell students are assessed as needing residential education provision, and that no other county special schools receive this type of funding.
We’re very aware of the strength of feeling and have carefully considered comments received, but we’re facing very difficult decisions as our budgets are becoming increasingly stretched.
"Our budget for pupils with special educational needs is under particular pressure, and we want to ensure the available funding is used equitablyPerson:Councillor Ivan Ould, county council cabinet member for children and families
“However, I want to re-iterate that, whatever the eventual decision, we are fully committed to supporting pupils and their families at Maplewell and will work closely with staff so that after-school activities, which run into the evening, can continue.”
If proposals are agreed, a statutory notice to close the facility would be issued early in the New Year, followed by a period of formal consultation.
Around 11,000 responses to a petition were received during the informal consultation on the proposals.
The residential facilities at the school, which was built in 1857, are on the first and second floors of the main school building. Over the past academic year, around one in three Maplewell pupils used the residential facilities.
The report also identifies that two of the rooms providing overnight accommodation were recently closed, following a fire risk assessment.
The cabinet will discuss the report when it meets at 2pm on Friday, 24th November. You can watch it, live, on www.leicestershire.gov.uk/webcast or watch a recording from the following afternoon onwards.