About the Consultation
Unity Schools Partnership (USP) is delighted to launch its section 10 consultation in relation to its new Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) Free School, Sir Peter Hall School. When it opens in September 2022 the school will take pupils in the 9 to 16 age range and will have capacity for 80 pupils.
As part of the process of opening a new school, USP is legally required to hold a consultation exercise (under section 10 of the Academies Act 2010) to determine whether the Trust should enter into a Funding Agreement with the Department for Education.
This consultation will allow parents/carers and pupils, staff and governors from local schools, other Local Authorities, Councillors, local residents and any other interested parties to learn more about Sir Peter Hall School and USP, and share their views.
This is an important step in our journey towards opening in September 2022 and we are looking forward to listening to your views in order to provide you with the best school possible.
The consultation period ran from 27/09/21 to 05/11/21.
All stakeholders are warmly invited to attend our public consultation event, to meet us and find out more information.
Date and time:
6 October 2021
Abbots Green Academy
Bury St Edmunds
Sir Peter Hall School will be an 80-place special school for boys and girls in the age range 9 – 16 with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) issues and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Located in Bury St Edmunds, the school will be run by Unity Schools Partnership and will be based on a mainstream model of education with an SEMH/ASD specialism.
The SEMH description applies to provision for children who are unable to access education because of their extreme reactions to everyday situations which can result in inappropriate behaviour or an inability to participate in the usual range of education activities that would be offered in a mainstream school even with specific and additional support to do so. Children attending this provision may have the cognitive ability to access mainstream education but do not have the appropriate skills to do so. They could have this need because of experiences in their early life, a lack of understanding or ability to act appropriately in group situations or a need for specific therapeutic support to enable this. The child may have a range of needs within which SEMH will be the most significant.
We include pupils who may also be diagnosed with autism. These children may exhibit or experience similarly dysregulated behaviour and/or response to social situations and their needs in this area will be rooted in their neurological diversity. Careful consideration will be given to the class groupings and educational needs of these children so that they, too, can have all their holistic needs met by a well-trained staff group and by policies and practices that have understanding of the needs of autistic children at their heart.
In January 2019 Suffolk County Council (SCC) agreed a new framework for the development of its specialist provision. This framework describes a pathway of specialist provision for each of the four main profiles of need identified within the SEND Code of Practice 2014. This new school will fit within the Social, Emotional and Mental Health Pathway of specialism. Within this pathway there will be a continuum of provision to reflect a graduated response starting with mainstream placements supported by SCC’s specialist outreach service CISS. The pathway includes new specialist units in mainstream schools for children with more complex needs, from which it is expected that most children will reintegrate back into mainstream when appropriate, and for the pupils with the most complex needs ensures a local special school offer. Currently there is no specialist provision to meet the need for pupils with the most complex SEMH needs within the West Suffolk area. A new SEMH school for pupils in the Bury St Edmunds area will enable local students to be taught in specialist provision appropriate to their needs close to their home.
The overarching vision for the school is to provide individualised support for all students and prepare them to become successful independent adults who make a positive contribution to their community, being valuable members of a better society, with an educational experience to look back on with enjoyment and pride.
The Trust believes that an ambitious, well-planned curriculum is essential for not only achieving successful academic outcomes but also in effectively meeting the social, emotional and mental health needs of their learners. The curriculum will follow the best blend of National Curriculum for high academic aspiration and therapeutic intervention to support pupils with their personal and social development.
The school will forge strong referral and working links with a range of multi-agencies such as mental health services and educational psychology to ensure a holistic approach is taken to meeting each child’s needs.
Sir Peter Hall School will open and be part of the Unity Schools Partnership (USP), which is based in the East of England. There are currently 30 schools in the USP, including three special schools and five enhanced resource units. We are currently working towards opening two further free schools from September 2022 onwards.
USP schools share the same values, face similar issues and are geographically close enough to support and challenge each other. We recognise, however, the unique characteristics of each of the communities we work in and how they are reflected in distinctive school cultures. We encourage cultural diversity, celebrate the special qualities of each of our schools and recognise that sustainable communities constantly change and grow.
We do not look for corporate solutions but are a partnership that respects, sustains and supports. Our model is about creating interdependence; schools that are more self-sustaining than stand-alone academies, and more independent than schools in corporate chains. We welcome close working partnership with the local authorities we serve.
Our schools subscribe to a set of shared values, principles and operational processes that ensure quality education for all our young people. Our central belief is that every young life is special; open to possibility, gifted with the potential to change the world for the better but also sometimes bound by the limits of their own circumstances. Our ambition is to unlock the potential of all children, remove the barriers to aspiration and ensure that all our children succeed.
USP was the trust behind the opening of Churchill Special Free School in Haverhill in 2013. One of the first special free schools, Churchill was awarded an Outstanding judgement by Ofsted after its first inspection in 2015 and again in 2019. The school’s expertise in educating pupils with Speech, Language and Communication Needs and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorder means it is well placed to offer advice and support to the Sir Peter Hall School.
“‘The school is a very calm, caring place, where pupils feel comfortable and able to deal with any difficulties and previous negative experiences of education”. Jackie Mullan Ofsted Inspector July 2019
Planning permission has been granted and the new school is being built on land at Airfield Road, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP32 7BY.
For a child to be admitted, the school must be named, by a local authority, in the child’s education, health and care plan (‘EHCP’).
For more information please visit our Admissions Page ►
How to Respond
We are keen to ensure that we deliver a school that meets local needs and requirements and we welcome your views.
Complete our online questionnaire ►
Or, download the questionnaire ►
which should be returned to
Unity Schools Partnership, Park Road, Haverhill, Suffolk, CB9 7YD
marked “Sir Peter Hall School Section 10 Consultation”.