Plans for a new specialist school in Dinnington take a big step forward

Rotherham Council has bought a closed college building to transform into a specialist education centre for youngsters with special educational needs and disabilities

By Danielle Andrews, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 12:22 pm

Rotherham College’s former Dinnington campus building will be turned into a free school, run by a specialist provider for pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs.

It is hoped having the specialist school in Rotherham will help the 290 children who have been assessed as needing SEMH education in the last 18 months.

A lack of provision means they often have to travel to out-of-borough placement.

Rotherham College's former Dinnington campus

Buying the site will also allow the council to redevelop Newman Upper School in Whiston.

Students from the upper school, which is part of Rotherham’s oldest special school, will move to the Dinnington campus, allowing the demolition of some of the existing buildings.

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Councillor Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Council said: “The Dinnington College campus is a cherished landmark for the community and this scheme will ensure 100 years of educational provision at the site will continue.

"Combined with the redevelopment of the much-loved Newman School in Whiston, our investment will improve the education and life chances for hundreds of local children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.”

Suzanne Joyner, strategic director of children and young people’s services at Rotherham Council said: “Completing the purchase of the Dinnington campus site is a significant step towards delivery of a really exciting scheme.

"We are extremely grateful for the support and co-operation of the RNN Group through the sale process and for the warm welcome our project has received from the community in Dinnington.

“Whilst the formalities to complete the purchase of the site have been going through, we have been working with our partners to appoint a specialist provider who will deliver the SEMH free school provision at Dinnington.

"We are looking forward to sharing exciting news about the appointment of the provider soon, subject to final sign off by the Department for Education.”

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