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R G Carter appointed to deliver new specialist autism school in Fakenham



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A new specialist school in Fakenham will be built by East Anglia’s leading construction firm, R G Carter, which has been appointed as the main contractor.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Academies Trust (SENDAT), the sponsor for the new school, is providing a modern specialist learning environment for up to 100 children and young people, aged between 5 and 16, with autism and complex communication and interaction needs.

This new facility is part of Norfolk County Council’s plan to transform special educational needs in Norfolk and address the ever-increasing demand for specialist teaching and help reduce travel times for students who require support.

Alex Mackay, left, director at RG Carter, on site with Lawrence Chapman, chief executive officer of SENDAT (43589809)
Alex Mackay, left, director at RG Carter, on site with Lawrence Chapman, chief executive officer of SENDAT (43589809)

The school will be built on the former Fakenham College Sixth Form site, which has sat empty for over 20 years, where Alex Mackay, director from R G Carter, and Lawrence Chapman, chief executive officer of SENDAT, met to cut the first sod.

Alex said: “We are delighted to have been appointed to deliver this much-needed specialist facility for the local community. We have extensive experience in providing high-quality educational facilities across the region and are looking forward to working in partnership with Norfolk County Council Children Services and SENDAT on this exciting new project.”

The new school will create up to 55 new jobs over three years and will have a range of specialist classrooms offering entry level up to GCSEs.

A view of the school's rear elevation (43589840)
A view of the school's rear elevation (43589840)

Lawrence said: “We are delighted to be chosen to open this new school in Fakenham. We are already running very successful schools and currently teaching over 400 students in Suffolk with a wide range of complex special needs including students with autism and associated difficulties.”

“Our aim is always to provide the best possible specialist education for all our children and young people with SEND to thrive and reach their full potential. We are excited at the prospect of now being also able to deliver an outstanding special school in Fakenham.”

Councillor John Fisher, Cabinet Member for Children's Services said: “We welcome the opportunity to work with local contractor R G Carter on this project. We’re really pleased that plans for the site in Fakenham are coming along and that work is due to begin in the New Year. It’s a great step in the right direction in our £120 million programme to transform SEND education for children and young people and create 500 new school places across Norfolk.”

NPS Property Consultants Ltd have designed the school and will be project managing the construction, which is expected to complete in the autumn of 2021.

SENDAT’s family of schools currently include Priory School in Bury St Edmunds, Stone Lodge Academy in Ipswich and Chalk Hill in Sudbury.



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