Councillors are set to consult the public on progressing a feasibility study which might see the former Woodlands School site become an education and sports village.
The proposal if agreed, would allow the Council to explore with parents, carers and the local community, the feasibility of a potential relocation of Woodfield Special School from its current two site location on Hawthorn Road and Stoneleigh Road, onto the former Woodlands School site. This proposal aims to address the increasing demand for special school places whilst significantly improving the existing accommodation by offering completely refurbished, high quality facilities.
The proposal is intended to secure the future of the Woodlands school site, for educational and sport purposes. It also offers a sustainable opportunity to retain and potentially expand the current community sports provision.
If agreed, the feasibility study will consider the possibility of the disposal of the two existing Woodfield sites on Hawthorn Lane and Stoneleigh Road, to release funds to reinvest in the facilities on the Woodlands site. In addition, the report contemplates the possibility of the disposal of the Woodfield sites not covering the full costs of an exemplary educational and sport facilities by requesting a small amount of residential development on the Woodlands site as a last resort should other funding options not be available to be considered.
Cllr Kevin Maton, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “We always stated publicly that we wanted to retain the Woodlands site for educational and sports use for the community and this proposal gives us an exciting opportunity to do just that.
“We face a challenge in Coventry to meet the demand for more school places for children with special educational needs, particularly social, emotional and mental health (SEMH). We know the two Woodfield sites can’t meet the additional demand, and there are considerable concerns about the quality of their buildings, but by sharing a site we can give the children and young people access to an improved curriculum and the better resources for learning that they deserve.
“I must stress however that we are just at the start of a process, the most important part of which will be a detailed consultation with Woodfield parents and the Woodlands community. We have a fantastic opportunity to bring vacant education buildings back into specialist use for young people and the wider community, and we must ensure we work to do it right.”
If the recommendations are approved the outcomes of the consultation and feasibility study will be considered by a future Cabinet meeting to help a final decision to be made.