Eastbourne’s new special school is taking shape.

Here’s our MP Caroline Ansell with an update: “

On Thursday I attended a steel signing ceremony to celebrate the progress that’s been made at the Summerdown SEN School, which is currently under construction here in Eastbourne. 

Other guests who joined me at the steel signing ceremony included the executive head teacher of Southfield Trust, Remo Palladino, and Morgan Sindall Construction’s area director Guy Hannell. 

After being appointed as the main contractor for the Summerdown school project, Morgan Sindall Construction has reached this key checkpoint on time and is on course to be finished by autumn 2022, when the first cohort of students will start in the new academic year.

The new school will help fulfil the need for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) school provision within Eastbourne and create immense social value for the children and families that will benefit from the facilities.

Summerdown will create 135 local school places for children aged five to sixteen with autism, complex learning and medical needs. 22 new classroom facilities will be built as part of the project, each equipped with bespoke specialist equipment to aid mobility and learning.

The finished school will include a hydrotherapy pool, sensory rooms, food technology rooms, science labs and landscaped gardens.

The site, which is set to be built on land adjacent to Broadwater Way in Hampden Park, is being delivered for the Department of Education (DfE) and will be managed by the Southfield Trust on behalf of East Sussex County Council.

To see this brand-new special school for our town up out of the ground and making such progress is very exciting. This is a big investment in education in Eastbourne and I am proud to have been involved when it was first put to ministers.

I was impressed with the construction work taking place but I can’t wait for it to be finished and see the first new pupils going through its doors.  These places are vital in the campaign to give every child the best life chances.”