Council plans to scrap places for children with physical disabilities at an ‘outstanding’ school have been dropped following wide-scale opposition.

Redbridge Council had proposed to cut all 15 physical disability places at Seven Kings School.

Following a consultation which closed last month, the plans have been scrapped.

The school in Ley Street has been the designated school for physically disabled students in the borough for over 40 years; it has as an overall capacity of 1,620 and offers 15 places for physically disabled pupils – the school was rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2018.

If approved, the plans would have seen the school cease admission for physically disabled pupils from August 31, 2020. Currently registered students would have been allowed to continue at the school.

In a statement on the school’s website, Jane Waters, head teacher, said: “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 physical disabilities in Redbridge.”

The leader of Redbridge Council, Councillor Jas Athwal, said: “Having carefully assessed the work taking place at Seven Kings School, the institutional knowledge and trust built up over years of experience, the existing infrastructure, and the views of past and present students, I’m pleased the decision has been made to keep the existing provision.”

Councillor Elaine Norman, cabinet member for children and young people, welcomed the feedback provided by the consultation.

She said: “The council’s aim in any consultation is to gain views from local communities, and it was clear in this instance that the feedback was very much in favour of maintaining the current arrangements. It was also evident that the majority of respondents believed that the council should continue to commission places at the school for students with physical disabilities.”

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