Plans for multi-million-pound special school

  • 14th March 2024

Pictured are Marie Hunter, head of Pens Meadow, and Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council

Plans to rebuild Pens Meadow School special school are taking a step forward with a contractor now appointed to deliver the work.

Dudley Council is investing £15m in the new school, which is to be built on the site of the former Pensnett High School.

Contractor, Interclass PLC, a local company based in Wombourne, will be delivering the build with initial site preparatory work to begin this spring.

Once built, the school will provide education for 155 children and young people aged 3-19 together with a nursery assessment unit for the borough.

The purpose-built building will deliver better facilities for pupils with complex needs, severe learning difficulties, including autism, and those with profound and multiple learning difficulties.

It will have state-of-the-art art equipment, therapy rooms, a hydrotherapy pool, changing facilities, outdoor teaching and play areas, and 14 bespoke classrooms specifically designed to cater to children with additional needs.

There is also a focus on sustainability within the design, with plans for PV panels to turn sunlight into electricity and air source heat pumps to help heat the building.

An artist’s impression of the new school

The new school has been designed by the council’s project design and delivery team in corporate landlord services.

And work is expected to start on site this month and is due to be completed in the summer of 2025.

The school is set to be fully operational in January 2026, with a phased transition for some of the pupils to the new site starting in the autumn of 2025.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said: “Pens Meadow is already a wonderful special school, but to be able to provide a new purpose-built site will take the school’s education provision to the next level.

“It has been designed to significantly improve the education for the children and young people with complex needs and I’m delighted that we now have a contractor in place to deliver this ambitious build.”

Marie Hunter, headteacher, added: “Our whole school community is very excited that the building of our new school will begin this spring.

“We have been working closely with the planning teams and are looking forward to seeing the building works progress. This will provide our pupils and families with the excellent environment they deserve.”

Work is expected to start shortly and is due to be completed in the summer of 2025

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