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13th Jun, 2021

New specialist state-of-the-art school for autism, anxiety and additional needs opens in Bromsgrove

A NEW state-of-the-art school to provide specialist support for students with autism, anxiety and additional needs has opened its doors in Bromsgrove after a funding boost and approval from Ofsted.

Lokrum Fields, operated by Wider Ambition, had a £650,000 finance package from Lloyds Bank to transform a six-bedroom residential bungalow in Stoke Pound into a specialist day school which can accommodate up to 18 pupils aged from nine to 16.

A challenging and enriching academic curriculum has been tailored to the children’s individual needs and will enable them to achieve the same qualifications as their peers in mainstream education. The school will also offer life skills classes and outdoor learning.

The building has been designed to provide a safe and comfortable environment for all students, with specific quiet collaborative spaces, sensory areas and no school bells so all pupils feel comfortable in the space and receive exactly the right assistance they need to thrive.

Wider Ambition was established in 2019 to help provide more learning opportunities to enable students who may not be suited to mainstream education to reach their full potential.

Alison Chalmers, director at Wider Ambition Ltd, said: “We invested in Lokrum Fields after becoming aware of a significant local need for educational provision for academically able students with autism or anxiety.

“Our new school provides a safe, home-from-home environment with specialist teaching and therapeutic support to help students achieve academically and fulfil their aspirations.

“The support Lloyds Bank has given us throughout the process has been invaluable and we look forward to working alongside them in the future, which includes plans to invest in a sister site, supporting students from age 14 with further access to GCSEs, A Levels and other post-16 qualifications.”

David Chance, Relationship Director at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Wider Ambition has shown an incredible commitment to supporting young people with additional needs in Worcestershire and the surrounding counties with their new school building. It has been a pleasure to support their efforts and we hope that it will provide huge benefit to those youngsters that need additional support.

“We will continue to be by their side throughout their journey and are on the lookout for more opportunities to support other ambitious projects in the area.”

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