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New school to be built in Basingstoke

Austen Academy (artist's impression) - picture credited to Noviun Architects

Hampshire County Council's confirmed a new special school is going to be built in Basingstoke.

It's going to be built on the former site of the Chineham Park Primary School, to help meet demand for places for pupils with autism and additional needs.

More than £10 million of Government funding is being invested into the development, as the council works with the Department for Education.

It'll be called the Austen Academy and it will be operated by the Catch 22 Academy Trust.

The council says the school will have places for 125 children and young people with special educational needs, aged between 5 and 16 years old.

Work's expected to begin at the end of this year - and it's hoped the school will be open by the Spring of 2021.

Councillor Roz Chadd, Executive Member for Education and Skills at the County Council, commented:

“Support for special educational needs has been very much in the news of late spurred by people’s concern about future funding.

“I know how hard the County Council works to ensure all children with special needs in Hampshire receive support to help them learn to the best of their ability; this includes the assistance given to schools so that they make the most of the right resources and learning strategies to enable children and young people with special needs to enjoy and thrive in their education in a mainstream school. 

“However, I recognise that for those with more complex needs, specialist provision is required.

“Therefore, I am delighted to back the expansion of the county’s range of special education facilities with this brand new, purpose-built school.” 

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