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Approved: Expansion of Marland School onto a New Satellite Site in Bideford 2023

Following completion of the statutory process, Devon County Council’s Cabinet has approved the proposal to expand Marland School onto a satellite site at East-the-Water, Bideford to provide up to 40 co-educational additional day school places for students who have Social, Emotional and/or Mental Health needs (SEMH).  The proposal will be implemented commencing April 2023 on a phased basis.

Marland School currently works across three school sites located across North Devon: a residential provision in Peters Marland near to Torrington, a Secondary day provision at Roundswell, Barnstaple and a Primary day provision in Bideford. It caters for the needs of learners between Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 4, all of whom who have an Education & Health Care Plan (EHCP) for SEMH and/or associated Special Educational Needs (SEN).

A fourth (day) provision will now be established at East-the-Water, Bideford. This broad student age range will be facilitated by changing from a two-stage primary/secondary model into a three-stage lower primary/middle/upper secondary model. The new satellite site will then cater for the needs of students in the upper secondary phase (Years 9-11).

In Devon, the most common type of primary need is Social, Emotional and Mental Health. 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 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 the increasing demand. Between 2015 – 2021 Devon saw a 49% increase in the number of children issued with an EHCP.

Devon County Council has purchased a site in East-the-Water, Bideford. The site was previously known as Broomhayes School – a former independent special school owned by the National Autistic Society. The option to secure the site was predicated on the potential to bring the new provision quickly into use. The project will require some minor alterations to the existing building but will require more substantial alterations to external areas.

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.
Marland School is well located to the new satellite site, already running high quality provision in Bideford for students with SEMH. Marland is an Ofsted ‘Good’ school (November 2016) with the Residential provision Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ (September 2021). The most recent Ofsted inspection reports that students make exceptional social, emotional and educational progress with the effectiveness of leaders and managers being outstanding. Leaders, managers and staff are dedicated to meeting the needs of students with significant experience of Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs.
It is for these reasons that Devon County Council in partnership with Marland School has proposed this expansion of Marland School onto this satellite site.

Funding of £2.2 million has been approved by Devon County Council which has enabled the purchase of the site and also includes the delivery of the required works, including furniture and equipment.

The project comprises some minor alterations to the existing building which do not require planning consent. A full planning application has been submitted and is awaiting determination for a Multi-use games area (MUGA), additional car parking area and security fencing.

Further background information is available by viewing the ‘Full Proposal’, available under ‘Consultation method’ below.

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