New site development
WHERE IS THE MINCHENDEN SITE?
The new site is at Southgate directly opposite the main gates to Southgate College and next to the fire station. It has been used as part of the college and was formerly part of Minchenden secondary school. The building will be ideal for Durants as it has large rooms and is very sturdily built. Durants has worked in conjunction with Enfield Council, Thomas Sinden Ltd and BHP Architects to plan and build this new provision.
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE DURANTS SITE?
When the school moves to Southgate the Durants main site will close for refurbishment. The old building will be completely stripped back and new windows, heating and electrics will be installed. The two newer sections of the school will get minor repairs and be redecorated. This site will reopen in September 2020 and will take students from year 7 to year 9. This means over both sites we will be creating an extra 100 places for young people with autism.
WHEN WILL THE NEW SITE BE READY?
The new school site is almost ready and will open to students in September 2019. The interior of the building is now complete and the construction firm are currently finishing off the car park and grounds. Durants hopes to take over the building at Easter. The new furniture will be delivered and the new IT equipment will be installed in April. There will be INSET days on the 23rd and 24th April so staff can learn about the new site and begin to get it ready.
TRANSITION FOR PUPILS
During the summer term all the students at Durants will go to the new site on several occasions. This will prepare them to start at the new site in September. This is good autism practice and will make starting in Southgate a much smoother process. Both our mini buses will be used to ensure that all students have as many visits as possible. Staff are sharing the latest photos and the students are starting to get excited about the move.
We plan to organise several dates when parents can visit the new site. These will take place in April and May. We will advise parents of these dates when we have them. We recognise that you will want to see the new school and see where your young people will be in September.
We are aware that school transport is a concern for parents. If your child is currently on transport this will continue. Of course, if you live close to Southgate you may wish to take your child yourself. If you do not currently have transport and your home is more than three miles from Southgate then please apply for school transport. Sammie J Hartley, our Family Support Adviser, will be able to support you with this process if necessary.
IS THIS DEVELOPMENT A GOOD THING FOR DURANTS?
Inevitably there will be some upheaval during this process. However, once complete the space available on the current Durants site along with the Minchenden site will mean that we will have developed a first class provision for all pupils with autism in Enfield. There will be more space and better resources and facilities. This will mean we can deliver an even better education for all our pupils. Proposed new facilities on the Minchenden site will include: vocational facilities for life-skills, creative arts and horticulture, a 6th form common room, a water room and therapy rooms. These new facilities will help us teach our students the skills they will need as adults. The Southgate area has a good shopping centre and good access to public transport. We will also hope to form strong links with Southgate College as it is so close and now offers a course for students for autism once they leave school. This is the provision most Durants students at 19 will likely be accessing.
WHAT WILL THE NEW SCHOOL BE CALLED
The current Durants site will be called DURANTS LOWER SCHOOL and the Southgate site will be called DURANTS UPPER SCHOOL
As we get closer to the summer we will continue to update you to keep everyone informed about this important new development
Please have a look below at the most recent picture from the site.