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Posted on: November 21st 2019

Closure of our Physically Disabled student provision

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The Local Authority has written to the school to inform us that it intends to close our provision for Physically Disabled students.

Seven Kings has been the designated school for Physically Disabled students in the borough and beyond for over 40 years and inevitably over time we have developed
an expertise and inclusive ethos which we believe makes Seven Kings the outstanding school it is today.

Our teachers have over time developed practices which are centred on the individual, this personalisation is largely due to the breadth of needs we have in Seven Kings; as practitioners we are constantly attuned to the needs of each and every child.  We have never had a ‘unit’ as our students are in class, in the corridors and restaurant as they should be in our community and in society in general.

Schools in the borough and beyond are supportive and relieved to know there is a school that can care for and challenge our young people beyond their expectations as the specialist Physically Disabled provision at Seven Kings has been instrumental also in promoting inclusivity and achievement for young people with Physically Disabilities in Redbridge. It has enhanced the self-esteem of young people who are able to learn, train and socialise with each other and others, rather than in isolation. It also has to be acknowledged that it is financially prudent to centralise services: physiotherapist equipment; medical services; Redbridge transport etc. as well as through established links with multi agencies. Being together enhances the young people’s concept of themselves as valued members of a community that can cater for and take pride in their achievements.

Redbridge have published the statutory notices regarding the proposed closure and as part of this they must offer a consultation period for parents and carers.  We are asking past students and parents as well as leaders of other schools to voice their concerns over this closure and I am writing to you to ask you to do the same.

We achieve outstanding results at Seven Kings because of who we are and the expertise we have developed; as The Good School Guide observed:  

"This is a place which, once visited, will resonate with you for a long time afterwards - not least because it is a school with a massive heart and social conscience."

I would hope we all think about the young people who it most affects and we listen to them.  Please take the time to watch this film of one of our own students and if you are not aware of children with a disability, it will give you an insight into what a child can achieve when surrounded by positivity and a can do belief both personally and professionally.

You can also read the response of very concerned former pupil below

I would ask that you voice your disappointment and concerns both with your local councillors and through the consultation process.

The consultation runs until 17 January 2020. Any person may object to or make comments on the proposal by sending them to: SEND Commissioning, London Borough of Redbridge, 91 Ray Lodge Road, Woodford Green, London IG8 7PG

Yours sincerely
Jane Waters
Head of Seven Kings School