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Funding for Hilltop School to give pupils with complex needs access to mainstream education

Published: 13 June 2017

An Ashbourne school has been given the green light to create new facilities for pupils with physical difficulties.

Hilltop Infant and Nursery School will remain a mainstream community school for all local children, but with the addition of an enhanced resource school facility (ERS) for pupils with a range of complex educational needs.

At its meeting on Friday (9 June 2017) our Cabinet noted the recent decision of the our chief executive under delegated powers to approve the £125,000 project, following a consultation period earlier this year.

The money will pay for the remodelling of part of the school to accommodate pupils with physical and learning difficulties, in line with our commitment to improving provision for children with special educational needs.

The school’s headteacher Hazel Jaques said:

“I am extremely proud that our school has been acknowledged as having the expertise, knowledge and ethos to be recognised as an enhanced resource school.

“It reflects our ability, developed over the last 15 years, to provide great care for pupils with a range of complex needs, which was highly praised by Ofsted following our last inspection.”

She added:

“Our commitment to making the school as inclusive and accessible as possible has enabled our pupils who have some complex difficulties to enjoy many of the same lessons and activities as their friends. It absolutely benefits all of our children and helps them to learn to value and respect each other’s differences.

“As an ERS, we can continue to give local children with complex needs access to education in their community with their friends for many years to come, and remove the worry for their families of having to find and travel to a school outside of the local area.”

Our Cabinet Member for Young People, Councillor Alex Dale, said:

“It is so important that children of all needs and abilities have access to mainstream education, so I’m delighted that Hilltop Infant and Nursery School is able to take this step.

“If the council and those schools which have the relevant expertise and skills can provide the facilities that children with complex needs require within their own communities then that is a huge benefit to them and their families.”