Praise from parents for investment in special educational needs

Posted by: Caroline Smith on 08 September 2022 14:20

Head teacher Chris Rue
Head teacher Chris Rue, Gracie Ellison, Kacie-Leigh Lay, Taylor and Harvey McLean, Ava Marley, Jessie Linsley and Cllr Adam Ellison

Students and their parents have given their resounding seal of approval to their newly-located school.

South Tyneside Council has invested more than £1.9.m in Epinay Business and Enterprise School which will open next week on the site of the former South Shields School which closed in 2020.

Sensory room
Jessie Linsley, Gracie Ellison and Ava Marley in the sensory room

In line with the Council's priority of supporting young people in need, the school has been adapted for its new learners and now houses state-of-the-art facilities, including a rebound therapy room, play therapy room and sensory light areas for children and young people with special educational needs.

Outside, an early years play area features specialist items such as a bug hotel, sand-pit, water-wall, mud kitchen and a climbing wall. 

Demi-Jade Gallagher

Kelly Bushell, from Jarrow, whose daughter, Gracie, has global developmental delay, described the new facility as "fab."

She said: "Gracie can find it difficult to control her emotions so having the sensory room will be a great help. It is a massive investment from the Council but one that is well worth it."

Ingrid Marley, also from Jarrow, was also full of praise for the school. Her 14-year-old daughter, Ava, attends the school and loves it.

She said: "Ava has been in Epinay since she was seven years old and has loved every minute of it. With the sixth form on site now, it means she will have the option to stay here for longer if she wants to."

The re-location of the school from its smaller site in Jarrow means that more children with special education needs can now be taught within South Tyneside, instead of having to travel outside the Borough for their education. The move also means that more children with a greater range of special needs can be taught on the new site. 

Councillor Adam Ellison, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: "The new Epinay site will provide students with excellent facilities in which to continue their education. We are committed to giving every child and young person the best start in life and by re-locating this school, we have been able to provide an outstanding learning experience.

"I am certain this new chapter of their schooling will propel these young people to ever greater achievements."

Last modified: 08 September 2022 16:50