Chesterton Primary could benefit from new specialist autism centre

Chesterton School head teacher David Williams and Moira Kielty, Inclusion Manager, in the conference room they hope will become a new Communications and Interactions Centre (7740799)

Chesterton School head teacher David Williams and Moira Kielty, Inclusion Manager, in the conference room they hope will become a new Communications and Interactions Centre (7740803)

First published in News

PLANS have been put forward to create a centre at Chesterton Primary School which will cater for children who have communication and interaction difficulties related to autism.

Proposals for the Communication and Interaction Centre (C and I) have been put forward by Gloucestershire County Council.

If given the go ahead, the centre would become the fifth of its type in the district and could cater for up to ten children.

The proposals for the centre will go to a public consultation in September this year and if they are approved, it is expected that the centre would open in September 2015.

David Williams, the head teacher of Chesterton Primary said: “I’m delighted that our school has been nominated to host this new centre and consider that it is a real testament to our track record in this field. The school’s governors have considered the proposal and it has been agreed that we want to explore this further.”

C and I centres offer children the opportunity to receive a mainstream education whilst benefitting from extra teaching support.

The centre at Chesterton as been earmarked as the county council says there is a need to expand this provision to meet the rising needs of children and young people in Gloucestershire.

As part of the proposals, an existing conference room at the school would be converted and extended to provide new facilities and accommodation.

Chesterton Primary is being considered because it has offered additional support to children in the past through an attached centre, is in the right geographical location, and is regarded by the council as an example of good practice for providing extra help for its pupils.

The new facilities at the school will provide a dedicated teaching area with additional accommodation for the children, including a play area.

Cllr Paul McLain, cabinet member for children and young people said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for the school and we wanted to share the good news with the wider community. Our children deserve the best possible support and the great work done by Chesterton over the last few years makes it the perfect choice as a local centre. We will continue to work with the school to move things forward, and we will keep everyone updated on our progress.”

Joe Harris, mayor of Cirencester and a county councillor said he was delighted at the prospect of having the facility at the school.

He said: “Any extra help we can give to help vulnerable people in the area is welcome addition.”

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