New school for children with special educational needs opens in Potters Bar

PUBLISHED: 12:39 13 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:39 13 August 2018

Potters Bar Clinic. Picture: DANNY LOO

Potters Bar Clinic. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

A £31,200-a-year special educational needs (SEN) day school has opened in Potters Bar, with a move to purpose-built classrooms in September.

Potters Bar Clinic. Picture: DANNY LOOPotters Bar Clinic. Picture: DANNY LOO

Potters Bar Clinic School opened on July 1 in its current premises at the clinic on Barnet Road, where its current pupils are inpatients.

The independent special school is owned by private mental healthcare provider Elysium Healthcare, which also owns Potters Bar Clinic and Rhodes Hospital School in Hatfield.

The majority of the pupils, aged between 11 and 19, have social, emotional and mental health needs.

They have been using the hospital ward breakout areas as their classrooms, but by September 1 they will have their classes in purpose-built accommodation on the second floor of the clinic.

Potters Bar Clinic. Picture: DANNY LOOPotters Bar Clinic. Picture: DANNY LOO

They’ll be able to use Rhodes Wood’s grounds for PE.

An Ofsted pre-inspection published in June stated that the school is likely to meet the requirements for all standards it measures, including quality of education, safety, social development, transparency, premises, and leadership.

The mixed-gender school, which will exclusively serve children with SEN, can accommodate 30 pupils and will have seven full-time and four part-time teaching staff.

At least some of these teachers will be brought over from Rhodes Wood, and pupils will also be supervised and supported, sometimes over 24 hours, by key workers employed by the clinic.

Potters Bar Clinic. Picture: DANNY LOOPotters Bar Clinic. Picture: DANNY LOO

The Ofsted report states that all 30 pupils will be “paid for by a local authority with a SEN statement or an education, health and care (EHC) plan”.

The Welwyn Hatfield Times has contacted Herts County Council to affirm whether this will cover the full annual fee of £31,200.

The school has appointed Eileen Field as headteacher, whose LinkedIn profile says she was previously head of blended learning in maths and science at Rhodes Wood, as well as having served as the director of the core curriculum at the Hart Schools Trust.

A deputy is yet to be appointed.

Potters Bar Clinic. Picture: DANNY LOOPotters Bar Clinic. Picture: DANNY LOO

The school will focus on literacy and numeracy through its English and maths lessons, and will also place emphasis on personal, social, health and economic education.

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