New Schools Offering Pupils With Social, Emotional Or Mental Health Needs To Be Developed In Cumbria

Two new schools for pupils with social, emotional or mental health difficulties are to be developed in Carlisle and Barrow.

The announcement follows submission of planning applications for both sites.

Known as Alternative Provision, the schools are a key part of the county council’s work to ensure all children have the best possible education and support.

Currently there is a lack of suitable school places for these children and many have to travel out of county to receive an education, sometimes living away from home.

In recent years, the number of children and young people requiring this type of education has increased, particularly in the Carlisle and Barrow areas.

The £5m investment from the council will create spaces for 40 pupils at each school, allowing children to be educated closer to their own communities.

In Barrow, the new school will be built on the site between the Dock Museum and Furness College overlooking the Walney Channel.

The school will be managed by the Furness and South Cumbria Pupil Referral Service, providing new and additional space to compliment facilities at Newbridge House.

In Carlisle, the new school will be built on a site at the bottom of Edgehill Road in Harraby.

The site was recently used as a temporary car park for Newman School before they moved to their new building this summer.

The school will be managed by the Pupil Referral Service, providing new and additional space to compliment facilities at the Gillford Centre.

Cllr Sue Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning, said: “These are really exciting developments and it’s fantastic to see the plans taking shape.

“The council is absolutely committed to ensuring all children are able to access education, whatever their needs, and these new schools will provide children with a range of academic, social or emotional difficulties a genuine local alternative to mainstream school.”

Both developments are subject to planning approval by the county council’s Development Control and Regulation Committee at the end of November, with an award of contract decision being made by the council’s Cabinet at its December meeting.

Subject to all approvals work is anticipated to start in the Spring, with the new schools opening in late 2021 (Carlisle) and early 2022 (Barrow).