18th July 2019

Wave Multi Academy Trust (MAT), which provides high quality education for pupils in Devon and Cornwall, has officially become the new sponsor of Glendinning House Academy, a special free school due to open in Newton Abbot in September 2020. Wave MAT is a highly successful provider of education for children who are educated outside of mainstream school due to medical requirements or who access their education through alternative provision schools. Glendinning House will be the first special school within their Academy Trust family. The new school will benefit from the team’s breadth and depth of experience.

The transfer of Glendinning House, to Wave MAT was confirmed by the Secretary of State for Education at the end of June 2019. The project was started by South Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust, which has been delighted with the progress to date and pleased that Wave will be taking the school through the final stages of opening. The project lead for Glendinning House has been working closely with the Wave MAT team, Devon County Council, local and regional experts and organisations in order deliver Glendinning House’s planned opening date of September 2020, and to ensure continuity.

Welcoming the confirmation, Wave Chief Executive, Rob Gasson said: “Every single member of the Wave MAT team works very hard to ensure that we are providing the highest quality education for all our pupils. We recognise that each child learns differently and use a range of methods to ensure that we can tailor our approach to their individual strengths. Our proven approach has been to provide a broad and balanced curriculum which enables all children to succeed and we will be using this same approach with Glendinning House.

“We will be working with families, partners and multi-professional teams to ensure that we are supporting pupil’s needs and establishing an ethos where they feel secure, are encouraged to talk, are listened to and feel safe.”

Glendinning House will provide 120 new school places for children who would benefit from a special school environment because of barriers to learning, which include sensory processing needs and anxiety. Working in close partnership with the Trust, Devon County Council SEN will be responsible for admissions to the new government funded special school when the school is named on a child’s Education Health and Care Plan.

Subject to planning permission being granted and to the Secretary of State for Education entering into a funding agreement, the new school is due to open in September 2020. The newly-built school will be located on the former Milber Infant school site within walking distance of Newton Abbot’s town centre.

Beatrice Mukherjee, Glendinning House Development Lead, said: “It is a very exciting time to be working with Wave MAT. Their experience and expertise within the region will mean that pupils at Glendinning House are supported by an expert team and Trust that will secure our place as an innovative school in the area and the South West region. I would like to take this opportunity to thank South Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust for its excellent work to date."

“The plan for the school will continue as before – it is planned that it will open with a cohort of 48 pupils growing to 120 pupils over 3 years. The curriculum will be focused on learning outdoors and through practical experience. It has been designed to develop children’s communication and interaction skills in a different environment to that of a traditional classroom.”

The school will have smaller class sizes than a traditional school and greater levels of personalisation, with a curriculum that supports more than academic progress. The aim is to support pupils to develop independence, gain relevant qualifications and achieve their ambitions. The school is looking forward to working closely with local businesses in order to offer work experience and contribute towards community projects.

On June 1st 2018 Wave MAT was accredited by the Regional Schools Commissioner as a sponsor. Wave MAT has a track record of working with students with a wide range of needs and has consistently achieved ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ in Ofsted inspections. In 2018, a remarkable 79% of WAVE students achieved both English and Maths Level 1 qualifications. This is a figure that reflects a determination to improve the life chances of young people.

Earlier this year Wave MAT was commissioned by Cornwall Council to provide education services for children and young people who attend the NHS Foundation Trust’s new child and adolescent mental health unit “Sowenna” which is currently being built on the Bodmin Hospital Site.

Rob Gasson explained: “We are very proud of what we have achieved in Wave MAT and are looking forward to working with staff, parents and young people from Glendinning House to achieve the same outcomes.

“We are confident that we can meet the needs of this group of students and engage them in a variety of core and non-core curriculum activities. We are committed to progressing the social, emotional and academic outcomes for all pupils to enable them to achieve their true potential.”