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SEND Sustainability Plan

If you are looking for information about our new SEND Sustainability Plan see 'SEND sustainability plan'

Special school and resource base development projects

Wiltshire Council is working with our local schools to increase the number of special school and resource base places available in Wiltshire to meet growing demand for specialist SEN school places

Our aim is to create more High Needs school places - in primary resource bases, secondary resource bases and special schools - so children and young people can access the best education, in the right location and at the right time. We want more children to have their education needs met closer to the family home, delivered by maintained schools and academy trusts in Wiltshire.

Wiltshire Council have committed to creating 500 extra high needs places under the Safety Valve scheme. Our own objective is to create more. To meet demand for High Needs places, we need to create 100 special school places, 40 primary resource base places and 40 secondary resource base places every year, for the next 3 years.

We have been very successful so far. Between 2020 and 2024 we will have created 899 new places. A further 410 places are in the pipeline so far, but we want more!

Cllr Jane Davies, Cabinet Member for SEND, said:

We have long-term plans to ensure Wiltshire children and young people are educated locally - this aligns with our Business Plan to ensure services are in the right place at the right time. New school(s) and classrooms will help address individual needs and support and engage young people in education.

As part of the SEND education continuum, High Needs school places sit alongside Ordinarily Available Provision (OPAL) and Enhanced Learning Provision (ELP), both of which are delivered in mainstream schools and academy trusts.

Pictures of Melksham House handover/Silverwood new build/ Paxcroft yurt

Builders and council staff standing in front of a building
Construction work of a building
A yurt in a school field

News and updates

For further up to date news from Wiltshire Council you can visit the main council news feed (opens new window).

For SEND specific updates we also have own on Local Offer news section.

  • Between 2020 and 2024, 899 additional school places would have been created by Wiltshire Council, some temporary, some permanent
  • In March 2024 Wiltshire Council agreed to make a £10M capital advance to fund new High Needs initiatives
  • In April 2024 the Department for Education announced additional funding to create High Needs places. For 2023/24, we will receive £8.6million, plus £2.6m in 2024/25. This takes total grant funding to £20 million for the 4 years to 2024/25. We intend to spend every penny of this creating and improving school places
  • The Department for Education has announced Brunel Academies Trust Brunel Academies Trust (BAT) (opens new window) as the successful education provider to run the Social Emotional and Mental Health Free School, to be based in Westbury (subject to feasibility and planning permissions)
  • REACH South have been successful in its bid to create an Alternative Provision (AP) Free School, in partnership with Wiltshire Council. The creation of 40 AP places in both the north and south of Wiltshire is subject to development of a successful business case.
  • The Council have refurbished Melksham House to create a new school for primary and secondary aged pupils with SEMH. We have issued a tender to find an education provider to run the new school for 5-10 years.
  • We have also acquired the Calder House School site in Colerne, with the aim to re-open it as Alternative Provision from autumn 2024. The school is likely to be renamed and we are using the working title 'The Northwood Centre' for this project.

For more information visit:

Special School Developments Wiltshire Resource Base developments

Current proposals

Silverwood student in sensory time
Silverwood Student working at desk
Silverwood students doing some gardening
Silverwood students playing outdoors
Silverwood students using assistive equipment


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