£6 million redevelopment plans unveiled for Kings Mill School

Head teacher Sarah Young with Couns Felicity Temple and Barbara Hall at Kings Mill School PS1315-10
Head teacher Sarah Young with Couns Felicity Temple and Barbara Hall at Kings Mill School PS1315-10

A £5.85 million scheme to remodel a school site which caters for a number of special needs pupils from the Bridlington area was announced this week.

The current school buildings at Driffield’s Kings Mill School are too small for the number of children on the roll.

So the East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) has applied for planning approval for a new school building following demolition of the existing building and mobile classroom.

It is also seeking to remodel the existing nursery and create new vehicle and pedestrian access and parking areas.

And, using land acquired on Church Street, separate arrival and departure flows will be created, allowing minibuses and taxis to park on the site without causing congestion on Victoria Road.

The project will take two years to complete, starting this autumn.

The ERYC will host a public exhibition at the Community Centre, on West Garth, Driffield on Tuesday, April 16, 10am to 4pm, to explain the proposals.

At Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, Coun Felicity Temple said: “It’s excellent news for the children and their parents.

“Many of these students are profoundly handicapped and this will enable them to continue with established travel and other arrangements for those further three years.

“This will prevent upheaval and disruption, which would be detrimental to their wellbeing.”

Starting in September this year, students who attend Kings Mill Special School will be able to continue their education in Driffield, as Kings Mill and Driffield School are working together to provide post 16 education for such children.

Three classrooms have been made available on the main Driffield School site for use by Kings Mill, and currently some Year 11s are utilising this space.

In September, rather than moving to a Special Sixth form college, these students will be able to continue to use this facility until they are 19.

The school on Victoria Road currently provides education for around 80 children with severe learning difficulties aged two to 16.

It has been proposed that this age range should be extended from two to 19.

Dave Waudby, head of infrastructure and facilities at ERYC, said: “Kings Mill is a thriving and popular school for children with special needs and sometimes complex learning difficulties.

“It has been at the heart of Driffield for about 50 years, but draws children from a wide catchment area of rural East Riding.

“The school buildings are too small for the numbers of children currently on roll and there is a long waiting list.

“The project would see a number of changes to the school site over a two-year period, starting in autumn. It will be built by instalments, allowing the school and the residence to continue operating.

“When complete, it will have all the facilities that a special school needs for pupils from ages three to 19, in line with Government standards for new schools.”