Council hope to provide 21 places for children with learning difficulties

in the form of a new resource centre at Linden Lodge


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Chartfield School under threat

Plans to build a new resource base at Linden Lodge School could provide up to 21 places for young people aged 11-18 with profound and multiple learning difficulties who currently attend Paddock School.

The purpose-built accommodation would provide large classrooms, a therapy area and sensory provision as well as full access to the eide range of specialist teaching at Linden Lodge.

Children with profound and multiple learning difficulties have a level of intellectual functioning that can be seriously impaired in a way that also affects senses and mobility.Pupils with these needs require a multi-sensory curriculum with stimulation from a variety of sources including interactive technology, music, gardens and hydrotherapy.

Paddock School also provides currently for pupils aged 3 to 19 with learning disabilities and a wide range of additional needs. The school needs extra space and improved classroom facilities if it is to continue meeting all its children's needs, in particular the increasing number with learning
disabilities and autism.

New investment at Linden Lodge would enable the council to offer improved facilities here for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties currently at Paddock.

Linden Lodge School in Southfields educates visually impaired children from across the South East. It has just launched a building programme which includes a new multi-sensory hydrotherapy pool. The school has its own sensory garden

When the new facilities are complete in autumn 2005 the school will be fully accessible with much-enhanced facilities for children with more complex needs. The changes already in progress at Linden Lodge would help it develop the expertise to offer high quality provision for children coming from Paddock as well as those already at the school. A number of children at the two
schools have similar needs.

By freeing up space at Paddock the council would also be able to upgrade facilities at the school for the group of children remaining.

Cabinet member for education Malcolm Grimston said:

"The current £3.8m programme of investment at Linden Lodge will ensure the school has some of the best facilities in the country for children with a complex mix of special needs.These include facilities which could never be fitted on the restricted Paddock site. We hope that parents at both schools will be excited by the opportunities these changes offer their children."

There are currently eight Wandsworth children with profound and multiple learning difficulties at Paddock with 16 in the primary phase at Greenmead School. Because numbers are increasing at Greenmead this is leading to a demand for extra places at secondary level.

Consultation on the proposals will continue until May 14 and include meetings for parents at Paddock, Greenmead and Linden Lodge. The final decision is expected by December 2004.

If the move to Linden Lodge were approved this would be timed to allow for the current building works to complete as well as construction of the new resource base.

March 24, 2004