Sensitive Approach

Client Advisers for new special school in Camden, London

London Borough of Camden chose SCABAL to advise on designs for its BSF project, including the combination of two flagship Sample Schools on a site at Swiss Cottage.

This project expanded the existing Swiss Cottage Specialist SEN School absorbing pupils from Jack Taylor Special School, to become a 232 place all-through school for the full range of learning needs including Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties (BESD).

The project required sensitive approaches to consultation and participation with pupils. SCABAL spent time at both existing special schools, creating and developing films with staff and pupils to record their needs and aspirations in ways that go beyond words.

The Design User Group consisted of head teachers representing the full range of pupils from both existing Special Schools. Their wish was to create a model of progression for pupils ranging from 3-19 years, allowing them to experience the stages of school life normally open to mainstream pupils, within a single institution. This must sit comfortably with the protected environment that allows them to fulfil their full potential as learners.

The new school is a beacon for all special schools in London, including a training centre and research institute with on-site facilities for healthcare professionals and behavioural support.

Service: Client Advisers

Location: Camden, UK

Client: LB Camden, UCL

Cost: £23.2m

Dates: 2008-2012

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