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Expanding Marland School onto a New Satellite Site in Bideford 2023

Marland School Governing Body are currently consulting on the proposal to expand Marland School onto a satellite site in Bideford to provide up to 40 additional day school places for students who have Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs from the Summer Term 2023.

In Devon, the most common type of primary need is Social, Emotional and/or Mental Health (SEMH). There is increasing demand, both in numbers and complexity of need. There is pressure on places across the County resulting in the need to commission the independent sector which is costly and subject to the risk of market failure. The SEN Strategic Review, endorsed by Devon County Council’s Cabinet in March 2018, identified a strategic need for increased specialist places to meet increasing SEN pupil / student demand.

Marland school was previously expanded to increase KS1 and KS2 SEMH places and this further proposed expansion of Marland School would provide up to 40 additional SEMH day school places for learners between KS1 – KS4. This broad range would be facilitated by changing from a two-stage primary / secondary model into a three-stage lower primary / middle / upper secondary model. The new site would then cater for the needs of students in the upper secondary phase (Years 9-11).

In partnership with Devon County Council, proposals have been developed for the expansion of Marland School to serve learners in North Devon. Marland’s existing accommodation has already been expanded to site limits; no further expansion is possible. However, the opportunity to purchase an additional separate site in Bideford, Broomhayes, owned by a national SEND charity, was identified to enable the expansion.

The new provision is strategically located in an area of housing growth with over 4000 dwellings allocated in the current North Devon & Torridge Local Plan 2011-2031 for Bideford alone. The option to secure the building was predicated on the potential to bring the provision quickly into use, as Broomhayes is a former independent special school.  The new site would be governed by the Governing Body of Marland School.

Funding of £1.7 million has been approved by Devon County Council’s Cabinet for the purchase of the building, including all fees and for the delivery of the required works, including furniture and equipment.
Prior approval planning consent for a formal change of use from residential to non-residential provision has been obtained. However, a full planning submission will be required as the building will need some adaptations and a new Multi Use Games Area (MUGA).

We would like to hear your views on this proposal by 21 July 2022 (consultation closing date). Once these have been received, the responses will be considered and a decision will be made as to whether to proceed to brief notice stage, which is the formal representation period. Any comments or objections received will be placed on a public file and will be available for public inspection and will be shared with Devon County Council (DCC), as the decision-maker.

If the decision is made to go ahead with the proposal the timetable is likely to be:
• Consultation: 14 June – 21 July 2022
• Governing Body meeting to consider consultation responses: September 2022
• Brief Notice formal representation period: September/October 2022
• DCC Cabinet considers results and decides outcome: October/November 2022
• Implementation: Summer Term 2023

Responding to the consultation

You can write to: Keith Bennett (Executive Principal) at the residential school site:
Marland School, Peters Marland, Torrington EX38 8QQ

By the closing date of 21 July 2022.

Consultation method:
Contact information: Address: Shona Meek, Strategic Planning - Children's Services, Room 120, Devon County Council, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD
Phone: 01392382057