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New Swiss Cottage special educational needs school will be cutting edge

PUBLISHED: 17:33 25 May 2012 | UPDATED: 17:38 25 May 2012

Kay Bedford, head of Swiss Cottage Specialist SEN School, inspecting building progress of her new school site in Swiss Cottage. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Kay Bedford, head of Swiss Cottage Specialist SEN School, inspecting building progress of her new school site in Swiss Cottage. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Headteacher Kay Bedford is bubbling with enthusiasm about her flagship school.

Swiss Cottage Specialist Special Educational Needs (SEN) School is moving to a £25million site in Avenue Road, Swiss Cottage, alongside the new University College London’s (UCL) Academy in July, from its current temporary site in Brondesbury Park.

It was granted status as a Teaching School last month will manage an extensive programme to improve pupil outcomes, together with a number of strategic and other partners.

It has also established a large Development and Research centre on its top floor, which it will use to provide opportunities to work alongside other schools and organisations in its partnerships. These include the Institute of Education, UCL’s neuroscience department and the Tavistock clinic in Hampstead.

The school will also be expanding as pupils from Jack Taylor School in Ainsworth Way, Swiss Cottage, transfer across. In September, the school will then cater for 232 children aged two to 19.

Most of the children attending the school will be from the Borough of Camden.

Ms Bedford said: “We are hugely excited about moving into the new school. It’s going to be wonderful.

“Children are going to get the very best education we can provide for them and the best health provision. They will be receiving outstanding teaching.”

The pupils will benefit from very high staffing ratios in the classroom, and all staff will be very well trained to meet the expanded range of needs in our new school.

The new building will have a three-bedroom flat to provide respite to parents and a life skills training centre to teach children to be as independent as possible.

Ms Bedford says she is excited that the school will be training the next generation of teachers.

She said: “We are proud to be developing teachers for the profession now and the next generation.”

She is keen to explore expanding provision for children at weekends and during the holidays.

“It just seems to me a waste that the school building will be left unused at the weekends,” she added.

The specialist school has consistently been rated “outstanding” by Ofsted since 1995. It caters for children with a range of complex learning, communication and physical difficulties.

The government’s recent SEN strategy, Removing Barriers To Achievement: The Government’s Strategy For SEN, aims to help children with special educational needs to reach their potential by improving access to education, raising standards of teaching and learning, and strengthening partnerships with children, parents and carers.

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