A new post-14 specialist hub has officially opened

Forest view opening

A new post-14 specialist campus has opened that will provide 50 Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) school places.

This means that more children and young people with SEND can access high-quality specialist educational provision in the local area.

Forest View has been developed in partnership by the Council and Nexus Multi Academy Trust (MAT) to create purpose-built provision for young people. 

The campus – shared between Hilltop and Kelford special schools - will support the overall need for additional special school places across the borough and extend education opportunities for local pupils with SEND. Providing young people with valuable additional curriculum opportunities, and a nurturing learning environment, ensures that young people throughout Rotherham are equipped with the essential skills they need to thrive beyond school.

The focus of Forest View is underpinned by the Preparation for Adulthood agenda through work-based learning, life-skills and community participation as well as supported employment opportunities.

The project was supported through a capital contribution as part of the Council’s Safety Valve Agreement. The goal of the Safety Valve is to generate additional SEND school places and to create a wider range of SEND provision for pupils across Rotherham. An additional capital contribution was also made by Nexus MAT. Over £450,000 has been invested by the Council and Nexus MAT to deliver this new provision.

This investment ensured that the provision could be developed over the summer holidays, with pupils starting at Forest View in September 2023.

Work to develop the new provision happened swiftly after Cabinet members agreed plans to breathe new life into the former Rowan Centre by opening it up for pupils with special educational needs, boosting the Council’s offer for local families.

Warren Carratt, CEO of Nexus MAT and Councillor Chris Read, Leader of the Council officially opened Forest View on Thursday 9 November 2023.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Chris Read, said: “This new provision for young people over 14 will give our young people with special educational needs and disabilities the opportunity to learn, develop and fulfil their potential to thrive and work in the borough. 

“Through the work of Council teams and Nexus, we have been able to take a decommissioned pupil referral unit and turn it into a high quality educational setting, which is going to make a huge difference to young people in Rotherham.”

Warren Carratt, CEO of Nexus Multi Academy Trust, said: “We are delighted to open Forest View this year. The campus enables us to bring much needed additional SEND provision to the local area and will help us to continue ensuring we make a real difference to the lives of young people in the community.

“By providing essential opportunities and support, Forest View will empower young people in Rotherham and the surrounding area with the skills and knowledge to succeed beyond the classroom. I am extremely proud of the partnership work that has gone into delivering this project by our central Trust team, the Forest View staff and council officers, and we look forward to seeing what the young people at Forest View can achieve with the support of this provision.”

Photo caption: Nexus CEO Warren Carratt is pictured (left) with the Leader of the Council, Councillor Chris Read (right) at the Forest View opening event.

Published: 14th November 2023