Proposals are being developed for Two Bridges Academy, a new special school for children with complex Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) to be built on part of the site of the existing Marlwood School in Alveston in South Gloucestershire, with frontage onto Vattingstone Lane.
ISG, the Department for Education and Enable Trust would like to consult with local neighbours, stakeholders and wider public about the plans ahead of submitting a full planning application to South Gloucestershire Council in late spring 2021.
The brief is for a new special school for 112 pupils (aged 2 – 19), including pupils with severe learning difficulties and autism, as well as those with profound, and multiple learning difficulties. It is intended to be an ‘all through’ school providing places from nursery to 6th Form, with approximately 90 specialist staff.
Co-locating the new Academy with Marlwood school will provide educational and social opportunities for inclusion, collaboration and enhanced provision for both mainstream and special school pupils. The shared vision is to enhance the social and learning opportunities for all students across both schools and to strengthen the community.
Two Bridges Academy will be funded and delivered by the Department for Education (DfE) as part of the Free Schools Programme and will be opened and run by Enable Trust, a local specialist education academy trust who run New Siblands school in Thornbury and Culverhill school in Yate.
The DfE recognised the strong educational case submitted by the Council for the school. Subject to receiving the necessary consents, the planned completion date for the SEND school is spring 2023 with the school due to open in September 2023.
The brief for the school is for ‘Net Zero Carbon’ so sustainability will also be a key factor in the design and consultation.
Some of the school’s specialist facilities will be available for local community use and hire outside school hours. This includes a hydrotherapy pool, specialist disability sports equipment for rebound therapy, changing facilities specially designed for young people with additional needs, soft play space for supporting sensory diet needs, outdoor wheelchair accessible play equipment and purpose-built life-skills facilities.