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Proposed changes to SEND departments at Orchard Academy and Shepherdswell Academy

This consultation has now closed.

East Midlands Academy Trust is reviewing the provision of its social communication special education needs departments based at Orchard Academy and Shepherdswell Academy, both in Springfield, Milton Keynes.

SEN departments are defined as mainstream education provision with enhanced resources to support the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

We are proposing to merge the two SEN departments into one merged department based in a newly redeveloped facility at Orchard Academy from January 2022.

Current provision

Orchard Academy currently has 11 pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities attached to the SEN department, supported by 9 support staff. Some of these pupils access mainstream lessons at times throughout the day as and where appropriate for them.

At Shepherdswell Academy, there are 6 pupils with special educational needs, in the social communication department with 4 members of staff. This is overseen by the SENCO who works across both schools.

The proposal

We are consulting on the following proposal for the future provision of the SEN departments:

To create an improved facility at Orchard Academy for SEN pupils and to merge the two departments at Orchard Academy and Shepherdswell Academy and deliver future provision for all SEN pupils across the two schools at the new hub at Orchard Academy from January 2022.

The new SEN provision at Orchard Academy will feature two SEN classrooms, an open-plan breakout space, a secure courtyard area with canopy, a soft play area and a sensory room. The project is being funded and delivered by Milton Keynes Council.

The consultation process

The publication of this consultation document marks the start of our public consultation process. The public consultation period will end on Thursday 15th July 2021. If you wish to express any views or comments on the proposals, please let us have your response by no later than Thursday 15th July 2021. All views and responses will be carefully considered before any further decisions on the proposals are made.

As part of our consultation process, we are consulting with the following stakeholders:

  • parents/carers of current pupils and pupils enrolled to start at Shepherdswell in September 2021
  • staff at the schools
  • other local schools
  • the local authority, and any other local authorities with pupils on an EHC plan at either school
  • the wider community
  • Other stakeholders, including the local authority and the local MP

This consultation how now closed.


Should you require assistance to take part in our consultation process, or would like to request a copy of this consultation document in another language, please call the East Midlands Academy Trust office on 01604 215149.

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