Work to start on sensory room at Bourne school

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PUPILS with sensory problems can look forward to using a new facility at a special school thanks to help from readers.

Work is set to begin on a £50,000 sensory integration room at the Willoughby School, in South Road, Bourne, in the next few weeks.

Headteacher Adam Booker has thanked everyone who has supported the school’s plans and said: “People are looking forward to the room coming so that they can see the facilities in action.”

The school received approval from Lincolnshire County Council for the build two months ago after submitting plans to its planning department in March.

The proposal was initially put forward in line with the school’s ‘Specialist Status’ bid thanks to funds donated by members of the community including Mercury readers and other organisations including the Len Pick Trust.

The school became a specialist school in cognition and learning in September last year - three years after it began work on its bid. It is thanks to the new status that the school is able to afford the new room.

The Willoughby had raised £20,000 to support its bid, but its hopes were dealt a blow in 2009 when the Department for Children, Schools and Families refused its application. However - a second application made early last year was accepted.

The school now receives extra funding per pupil, as well as a £20,000 grant to improve the site and an annual payment of £60,000 for the next three years.

Mr Booker said: “We are receiving money from the government which matches the £20,000 funds that the community raised.

“We are adding to it with some capital funds that we have accrued from the county council over the past couple of years – which forms part of our school’s budget.”

Mr Booker is looking forward to seeing the new build complete which will be a room which has specialised equipment inside allowing staff to try and help pupils manage some of their sensory issues. He said: “Sensory integration can assist in promoting a ‘readiness to learn’ and engagement from pupils who may find interaction and communication challenging.

“Building is to start imminently and we are hopeful it will be done for October.

Contractors Newman and Moore will be carrying out the work on site for the room.