A NEW special educational needs school in Kidderminster is on track to be completed by next year.

The 5.4-million-pound Unity Academy is set to accommodate 60 pupils aged between four and 11 years old who have Social Emotional Mental Health (SEMH) needs.

The Department of Education has appointed modular building expert, Portakabin to build the academy on the former Sladen Middle School site on Hurcott Road.

Kidderminster Shuttle: Image/ Portakabin.Image/ Portakabin.

Lee Connolly, head of project design and engineering for Portakabin, said: “Unity Academy will provide a much-needed specialist resource for primary school children in the local community.

“Pupils will be able to access alternative support provision away from their mainstream school environment which will offer them the best possible opportunities in a state-of-the-art building.

Kidderminster Shuttle: Image/ Portakabin.Image/ Portakabin.

“Our building will have specially developed windows to maximise daylight and natural ventilation within its learning spaces. We will also have photovoltaic panels on the roof, extensive playground areas and a habitat/forest school to improve biodiversity and enhance the learning experience of the children.”

Around 25 members of staff will be employed at the school which will be operated by The Rivers C of E Academy Trust.

Kidderminster Shuttle: Image/ Portakabin.Image/ Portakabin.

Kate Brunt, CEO of The Rivers CofE Academy Trust, said: “This is an exciting project, and we are looking forward to working with local schools to ensure that the needs of our most vulnerable pupils are met.”

The school will provide eight classrooms, a large hall and resource spaces.

Councillor Tracey Onslow, cabinet member with responsibility for education at Worcestershire County Council said, “We are happy to see that plans have been thoughtfully designed to meet the unique needs of the children that will be learning there.

“These facilities will help with improving the experiences of children and young people and we are pleased to see work progressing.”