Further talks on new college for Woodlands Meed to be held

Woodlands Meed governors are meeting with West Sussex County Council officers today to discuss a mobile classroom which disabled children will use while a new college is built.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 10:40 am
Woodlands Meed College. Pic Steve Robards SR20021703 SUS-200217-165144001

Marion Wilcock, chair of governors, raised safeguarding concerns about the classroom – which will be used for 15 months – saying it would have no access ramp – essential for children with mobility problems – and no WCs.

Ms Wilcock said she was ‘hopeful’ the council would now listen to what the school had to say.

She also shared some good news about another of the governors’ concerns.

Plans for a hoist system, particularly needed in hygiene rooms, the physio room and the hydrotherapy pool, were given the all-clear after an inspection by a Movement & Handling expert.

The council also confirmed it would meet the specifications required by the school.

Some concerns, though, still need to be addressed, not least of which was health and safety during the construction of the new college.

Noise, dust and vibrations would all, of course, be expected during the build, which will be carried out close to the current college.

But Ms Wilcock said the school had not been able to identify any health and safety information addressing the specific arrangements for protecting children with special needs while the work was carried out.

Ms Wilcock said things were ‘looking hopeful’ but added: “It is frustrating beyond words that this could have been sorted out so long ago, if [the council] had not cancelled all the [project board] meetings since August 17 and refused requests for meetings.”

A letter to Tony Kershaw, the council director of law, said calls for meetings had been made on October 20 and October 25 but had been ‘ignored’.

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