With the increase in children being awarded an Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP) nationwide, the need for settings that can provide appropriate support continues to be a key concern for the Department for Education (DfE).

Dover District in Kent is one such area that has seen an increased need for SEND school places and has limited spaces in their schools to cater for the requirement.

The expansion of The Beacon School positively impacts the availability of specialist provision in the local community by freeing up places at local Specialist Resource Provisions (SRPs). Upon completion, The Beacon Satellite SEN School will offer increased spaces for pupils with learning difficulties or an Autism diagnosis. Phase 1 of the project, completed in 2021, has provided a suitable setting for children in Reception and Year 1. Subsequent phases will allow children aged 3 to 16 to join the school.

Although many parts of the original structure were not fit for purpose, efforts were made to repurpose existing buildings to meet the needs of a special education school wherever possible. The expansion of The Beacon School in Deal represents a significant investment in the region’s educational infrastructure. The collaborative efforts of the project team have been crucial in ensuring the successful completion of the expansion. As the project progresses through its various phases, it is expected to significantly meet the growing demand for SEN spaces and provide enhanced educational facilities in Deal.

The anticipated timeline for the project envisions a start date in spring 2024, with completion targeted for September 2025. The main contractor overseeing the construction is WW Martin, while b&m assumes the role of Quantity Surveyor. The collaborative efforts of these stakeholders are integral to the success of the project, and their roles will be crucial in ensuring that the expansion meets the needs and expectations of the community.