New site development
Why is there a need for an additional site for Durants?
Currently both Durants and Russet House are full. The Local Authority knows that the number of younger children with autism in Enfield has grown a lot. As both schools are already full the Local Authority knows it needs to create more spaces. Unfortunately neither Durants nor Russet House can be expanded further due to lack of space. The new site will not be big enough to accommodate the whole of Durants so it is likely that Years 7 and 8 will remain on the current Durants site and Years 9-14 will move to the Minchenden site.
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.
When will the new site be ready?
The expected date when the building will be ready is September 2018. Durants staff have been consulted and said what we feel needs to go into the new building. It is currently with architects who will completely redesign the interior of the building.
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. The will be more space, 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: a practice flat, vocational facilities for life-skills, creative arts and horticulture, a 6th form common room, therapy rooms and a gym and fitness room. 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.
Information Meetings for Parents
Once we are a bit further into the process we will be holding information and briefing sessions for parents to keep you informed and updated about what is happening and what this may mean for you and your son or daughter.