Taken from Wokingham Borough News Centre.
There’s great news for local young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) as work has started on site to build the new Oak Tree School in Winnersh, which is currently on track to open in September 2023.
Backed by both Wokingham and Reading Borough Councils in partnership with Brighter Futures for Children, the school is being built and funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and managed by Maiden Erlegh Trust, which is already responsible for running several schools locally.
The new free school, which will cater for children and young people of all ages, will provide 150 places for children with autism (ASD) and social emotional and mental health (SEMH) difficulties from across Wokingham and Reading.
The provision of high quality SEND education will greatly support local families. In addition to both councils saving money when compared with funding out of area placements, many children and young people will benefit from wider school activities and experiences without needing to travel long distances from their home.
Cllr Graham Howe, executive member for children’s services, said: “We’re incredibly pleased to see work start on this new school in Winnersh. Being able to provide such high-quality specialist education right here in the borough is a fantastic opportunity and something we are proud to be able to support. The designs for the school are great and we’re sure it will transform lives when it opens next year.”
Jonathon Peck, CEO (Designate) of Maiden Erlegh Trust said, “On behalf of Maiden Erlegh Trust I am delighted to see that work has finally begun to construct Oak Tree School which will provide much needed specialist provision locally for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to my colleagues who have worked tirelessly to bring this scheme forward but also to colleagues at Wokingham and Reading Borough Councils, Brighter Futures for Children, the DfE and Reds10 for their support and commitment. I look forward to seeing the build progress over the coming weeks and months.”
Oak Tree School is being built by off-site construction specialist Reds10 who have a great reputation for working closely with the Wokingham community to minimise the impact of construction works and have been responsible for successfully delivering several local projects like the recent Dinton Activity Centre in Winnersh and the award-winning expansion of Addington SEND School in Woodley.