£6m SEND school expansion project underway

Artistic impression of Sandgate School building project

Work on a major £6m construction project to expand a school in Kendal for children with Special Educational Needs has begun this week.

Once complete, Sandgate School will have four additional classrooms, a new sports hall and changing rooms as well as other facilities.

Sandgate is a special school for children and young people between the ages of three and nineteen years, which operates a satellite campus at The Queen Katherine School (Academy), with inclusion of pupils in KS4 and 5 currently taking place at the main site.  

The funding, provided by Westmorland and Furness Council, will expand the Sandgate School satellite campus at The Queen Katherine School to include pupils in Key Stage 3. This means all secondary age pupils can learn on the same site. The development will also increase the overall capacity of Sandgate School.

Architects Plus has developed the design for the project and F Parkinson Ltd will deliver the building works which are anticipated to continue into the autumn school term 2024.

Cllr Sue Sanderson, Westmorland and Furness Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills, said: “This is great news for children with Special Educational Needs and I’m delighted the works can finally begin.

“Having all secondary age pupils able to attend the campus at The Queen Katherine School will really make a huge difference, it’s so important that wherever possible children with Special Educational Needs are included alongside their peers as part of the community, breaking down barriers and prejudices. In addition, the increased capacity means we’ll be able to educate more local children closer to home.”

Cllr Peter Thornton, Westmorland and Furness Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Assets, said: “This is a key strategic investment in education for children with Special Educational Needs. Our council plan is all about making our area a great place to live, work and thrive and this project shows our commitment to that pledge. The new buildings will meet the changing needs of pupils and provide facilities closer to home for children and young people who need them. I look forward to seeing the work completed.”

Jon Hayes, Headteacher at The Queen Katherine School (QKS), said: “This development is a positive enhancement for the students at both Sandgate and The Queen Katherine School.  The co-location already brings benefits for both sets of students and this expansion will build upon the many years of successful collaboration that have gone before.  Our aim at QKS is to provide the best and broadest possible educational experience for all our young people and having Sandgate students as part of our community is a key part of that philosophy.”

Daniel Hinton, Headteacher at Sandgate School, said: “The Sandgate community is so pleased to have the new build on its way. We are a growing school, with increasing need across Westmorland and our catchment. These brand-new facilities will give our students a school that is fit for purpose and able to cope with the demands of a modern curriculum. It is a pleasure to work so closely with QKS, this build puts us both on the map to be able to deliver a fully inclusive offer.”

Andrew Stevens, an Associate with Architects Plus said: “We are incredibly pleased that this project has reached the construction phase following a lot of effort from our design team, including consultants McGowan Miller, Waterman Group and Pettit Singleton Associates. We are really looking forward to working with Parkinson and Sandgate School to complete the new building for the children."

For more information about the project, please contact Chris Frankish at CFrankish@ridge.co.uk