Petition launch against school facilities closing
A PARENT has launched petitions to try and stop plans by Leicestershire County Council to close the residential facilities at Maplewell Hall Special School in Woodhouse Eaves.
Consultations are being carried to the changes, which could come into effect in September 2018.
But the move has sparked protests by some parents - including mum-of-three Kayti Ryan, from Loughborough, who has an autistic daughter at the school.
She said parents were determined to get the proposals scrapped. She said: “They are not looking at the benefits, they are just looking at the money they can save.”
She said the residential facilities provided help with lifestyles for pupils, teaching them such day-to-day skills as washing up and making beds - but it also offered parents and families vital support.
She said having an autistic daughter often meant she could not give her other two children the time they needed, but when her daughter was in residential care, it gave her more quality time to spend with her other children.
She is launching a petition online and a printed copy and has contacted Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan about the situation.
The petition is online now at chang. org entitled ‘Save Maplewell Hall special needs school residential from closure’ and already has more than 1,800 signatures.
A Leicestershire County Council report said: “The closure of the residential facilities will allow savings to be made to the budget and funding to be directed to other areas of increased demand where appropriate.
“The closure of the residential facilities in September 2018 will allow for phased removal and adequate measures of support to be put in place (where appropriate) for families/pupils affected by the change.”
Maplewell Hall Special School, built in 1857, currently has capacity for 195 pupils with SEND, in addition to a 10-bedroom residential facility.
The school has maintained status and is therefore directly facility controlled by the local authority.
The school caters predominantly for pupils with moderate learning difficulties, having 183 pupils on roll, including 20 pupils within a designated Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) facility.
The report states the school currently receives an allocation of £293,000 a year (from the High Needs Block) to support the residential provision - however no pupils currently attending the school have any requirement for residential provision, and this has been the case for the past few years.