New £16m special school is taking shape

Work to extend and improve a school for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is progressing at a pace.

The steel structure of the new building is now in place.
The steel structure of the new building is now in place.

St Lawrence School in Horncastle is being rebuilt as part of a multi-million-pound investment and the steel structure of the new building is now in place.

The new school will be able to cater to all needs and will offer spaces to both primary and secondary-aged pupils. It will provide 17 classrooms, including three specifically designed for pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties, featuring hoists and sensory corners.

There will be a new hall and studio, allowing the school to offer rebound therapy and physical education, as well as therapy spaces for soft play, sensory play and physiotherapy. These will be complemented by areas for life skills and social recreation and calm and group spaces. The new block will also provide hygiene facilities, a staff workspace, offices and meeting rooms.

The new school is expected to be completed in spring 2024, with the construction work being carried out by Willmott Dixon.

Coun Mrs Patricia Bradwell OBE, executive member for children’s services, said: “One of the council's top priorities is ensuring all local children get a great start in life, and a good education is vital to that. That's why the authority is investing around £100m in improving and expanding special school across Lincolnshire.

“Despite the challenges we’ve faced over the last few years, we’ve continued to make steady progress, with a wide range of improvements already completed, most recently in Boston, Bourne, Louth and Spilsby. I’m delighted that pupils in Horncastle will soon be able to benefit from this programme as well.

“The new school will offer much better facilities and will mean more pupils will be able to attend their local school, rather than having to travel large distances for their education – something that will be of great benefit to both the children and their families.”

In addition to the new block, the school grounds are being reorganised and will offer improved outdoor play spaces, including a sensory garden, horticultural area, games zones and outdoor exercise equipment. There will also be improved drop-off and pick-up facilities and increased parking for staff and visitors.

The new school is expected to be completed in spring 2024, with the construction work being carried out by Willmott Dixon.

Lea Mason, executive headteacher, said: “As a whole school community, we are extremely excited, as we watch the progress around the new build developing. This development is essential in providing an improved learning environment for all our students, across the whole school, through access to appropriate spaces, inside and out.

“The opportunities we are provided, working closely with Willmott Dixon, are enabling many learning opportunities for our students and supporting access to world of work experiences. The students have had the opportunity to apply for and be interviewed for the school press team and are already setting up social media and interviews. They will also be capturing this steel signing event.

“This is a long awaited, exciting development for the school, to create the much-needed provision and specialist spaces, to enable us to build on the opportunities to support our students, in all areas of need, within all need provision.”