New £10.5m special needs school to open next year

New £10.5m special needs school to open next year

After ten years of waiting, the venture finally got the go-ahead from Hackney Council

Stephen is the Jewish News' Foreign Editor

Ten years’ waiting came to an end this week, as a Jewish special needs school in Stamford Hill finally got the go-ahead to relocate to the site of a former Jewish primary school on Lordship Lane.

Hackney Council gave Side-by-Side the green light to build a new £10.5 million school from July next year on the former site of Avigdor Primary School, which will cater to 110 children aged between two and 19 years of age.

Side-by-Side currently operates out of a temporary buildings on Big Hill in Upper Clapton, and school bosses say the new building will include 18 residential apartments, which will be sold to help pay for the venture.

While increasing pupil capacity by 30 per cent, the planned new development is still much smaller than had originally been planned, with submissions from 2007 saying there would be 170 pupils.

School leaders still need to raise £5 million to pay for the school, and have appealed to the community to help. The other £5.5 million will be met from building and selling 18 residential flats above the school.

The new site, in the centre of the strictly Orthodox community, will offer purpose-built facilities to the pupils, many of whom have special needs. Features will include therapy and sensory rooms.

School leaders have appealed to donors to help bring the plans to fruition, with millions of pounds still needing to be raised. School chairman Jacob Sorotzkin said they were “exciting and ambitious plans,” adding: “We are confident of the community’s support to turn this project into a reality.”

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