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Springwell Alternative Academy Spalding leaders hold information evening in town for the public





Leaders of a new school in Spalding for children outside of mainstream education have vowed to work with the community in addressing its concerns.

Springwell Alternative Academy Spalding, part of the Wellspring Academy Trust, is due to open at the former South Holland Post-16 Centre site, in Matmore Gate, in January 2020.

The site for the new school, which will cater for 63 pupils aged four to 16, was chosen by the Department for Education, according to officers from the Trust who held an information meeting for the public at Spalding High School on Thursday.

South Holland Post-16 Centre, Spalding, is to become the site for Springwell Alternative Academy's school in the town, due to open in January 2020. Photo: SG010216-124TW.
South Holland Post-16 Centre, Spalding, is to become the site for Springwell Alternative Academy's school in the town, due to open in January 2020. Photo: SG010216-124TW.

During the meeting, the new school’s executive principal Phil Willott said: “There are lots of anxieties around concerning the unknown, but a lot of the young people we work with have a range of needs that require a lot of support.

“Some have suffered severe trauma and extreme neglect, so we’re committed to creating and providing a positive learning experience for all of our young people in a safe and nurturing environment.

“This school will be considerate of their individual needs, enabling our students to engage and enjoy a broad and balanced curriculum that includes personal development and literacy, ensuring that our pupils make progress in speech, language, reading and writing."

Residents were told that children would be brought to and from the school in a fleet of taxis, with a pick-up area to be created with the Matmore Gate site.

Dave Whitaker, director of learning for Wellspring Academy Trust, Phil Willott, executive principal of Springwell Alternative Academy Spalding, Clare Stevens, the Trust's strategic project manager, and Springwell's executive vice principal Sarah Jones ahead of an information evening about the new school in Spalding. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG-180719-017TW
Dave Whitaker, director of learning for Wellspring Academy Trust, Phil Willott, executive principal of Springwell Alternative Academy Spalding, Clare Stevens, the Trust's strategic project manager, and Springwell's executive vice principal Sarah Jones ahead of an information evening about the new school in Spalding. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG-180719-017TW

Assurances were also given about break times, lasting for a maximum of 20 minutes, when students would be sent out from their classes on a staggered basis.

Mr Willott said: "Every young person has an assessment as to where they are in their social and emotional health.

"The majority of students will be taxied in, so we can be flexible with our times of the day.

"Unfortunately, we can't solve the problem of traffic congestion, although we will try and work with the local authority, in terms of transport, on a positive outcome so as not to add to the the issue."

During the meeting, it was announced that a three-metre high fence would be put up around a multi-use games area to be used the site.

Dave Whitaker, Wellspring's director of learning, said: "We needed to wait for information from the Department for Education before coming to the public so as not to fuel any misconceptions."

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