Local MP Neil Parish has backed ACE Tiverton to provide high-quality education to young people in Devon with special educational needs.
The special school, which opened its doors on Monday, will cater for 70 young people aged 11 to 16 years old who have identified needs relating to Autism, Communication Social, Emotional and Mental Health. The new staff have been busily preparing their classrooms in the newly refurbished building, ready for the first day of school. The building used to be a care home and has been converted by Devon County Council in a £4.5 million project.
The school is particularly welcome at this time as Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) provision is desperately needed in Devon as places are already limited. The school is focused on supporting, educating and enabling their students to be positive and successful members of the community, whatever their interest, skill or strength.
ACE Tiverton is part of the ACE Schools Multi Academy Trust, a specialist provider of alternative education, with sites throughout Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall. The sites all work together to ensure best practice is shared so that SEND pupils get the high-quality education and support that they need.
Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, said:
"I am absolutely delighted to know that we are opening new places for SEND students at ACE Tiverton. It is crucial that we are providing the support that every child needs and it makes me very proud to celebrate this fantastic new provision available for our families and young people."
James McInnes, Devon County Council's Cabinet member for schools, said:
"We've invested over £4 million into this new special school for young people with autism and social, emotional and mental health needs. It will provide high-quality care and education for the growing number of children in our county who have special educational needs, closer to their homes and families. This means we can look after these children in a Devon school rather than relying on expensive private and independent provision. That's important for them and their families. It's also an important investment by Devon County Council because our budget for children with high needs is under intense pressure."
Hannah Smart, the Headteacher of ACE Tiverton, said: "All of our staff are excited to get to know our new students and families and we look forward to working closely with parents, carers, and the local community as we make a great school together."
Chris Humphries, ACE Schools Trust's Director of Performance, said: "We are thrilled to open ACE Tiverton. Our expertise as a Trust and the commitment we have shown towards outstanding educational achievement for SEND pupils, combined with a holistic support approach, means that we will be able to deliver fantastic provision for our new students in Tiverton."