The results of a two-month public consultation have been published by Wellspring Academy Trust (WAT) which is behind plans to reopen the former South Holland Post 16 Centre as a school for children outside of mainstream education.
Springwell Academy Lincolnshire has a core purpose to deliver education programmes for challenging and/or vulnerable children and young people who are not in school for a variety of reasonsSpringwell Lincolnshire Public Consultation Report, Wellspring Academy Trust (WAT)
It has also emerged that the Barnsley-based educators are already advertising jobs for teachers at what will be known as Springwell Lincolnshire Academy - Spalding.
The vacancies were advertised in WAT’s online newsletter in February and the report stated that the school “is planned to open in September 2018”.
Residents in Matmore Gate, where the Post 16 centre is based, are passionately against the plans due to fears of extra traffic on the road, safeguarding of children at the school and a lack of communication from Wellspring about its plans.
But the report said: “WAT, in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council and the Department for Education, is investing significant amounts of money in providing the best possible education for the children of Lincolnshire who are unable to access mainstream education and are at risk of permanent exclusion.
“Springwell Academy Lincolnshire has a core purpose to deliver education programmes for challenging and/or vulnerable children and young people who are not in school for a variety of reasons.”
WAT were strongly criticised by parents for originally planning to hold a meeting about the new school in Sleaford last November before they eventually held another meeting at Spalding High School, which is totally unconnected with the plans, last December.
During the meeting, Dave Whitaker, executive principal of Springwell Learning Community, said: “At the moment, there are around 250 to 270 children in Lincolnshire who have been excluded from mainstream education and they need schools to go to.
“As an organisation, I feel we need to be judged by how we look after our most vulnerable children.”
Coun Patricia Bradwell, executive member for children’s services at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “We are aware of this application from Wellspring Academy Trust for a new school.
“We support the proposals as they will address the need for alternative provision for children and young people in the Spalding area.”
The report can be read by visiting https://wellspringacademytrust.co.uk/news-media/newsletters/