THE former Salisbury University Technology College (UTC) is being explored as a potential site for a new school for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Reach South Academy Trust in partnership with the Department for Education, Wiltshire Council and leaders from other schools, are currently involved in a feasibility study to assess the potential of the UTC building on Wilton Road, Salisbury, as the site of the new SEND (special educational needs and disability) free school for south Wiltshire.

A statement released said: "The whole team is committed to developing a school that is safe and purposeful for all its pupils. We are aware of the potential of the site but also recognise that work will need to be done to make it fit for purpose. The team will use their expertise and experience to establish how a building with great space and facilities can now be significantly adapted to meet the needs of an ASD and SEMH population. The team will also question and assess how the need for suitable outdoor spaces can be accommodated."

Jon Hamp, the Reach South Director for SEND, said: “Everyone is very excited about the new free school – for us, this is about having new provision that will build safe, independent lives for our pupils. Working closely with Wiltshire Council and the Department for Education, we are exploring the potential of the former UTC site and look forward to the outcome of the feasibility study.

Salisbury Journal:

“We have made local residents aware that these initial explorations are happening and the response has been really encouraging, with some very positive feedback.”

Reach South runs Springfields Academy which is based across two sites in Calne and at Sarum Academy in Salisbury.

The Salisbury site is known as Springfields South and opened in February 2019 for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and social, emotional and mental Health.

Reach South says the Salisbury UTC site, which closed in August 2019, will only be confirmed as the definite location for the new SEND free school once this study has been completed and any safety concerns have been addressed.

It will also begin a formal consultation on the new SEND school in the coming weeks.