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Morgan Sindall Construction team and stakeholders at the ACE Tiverton Special School opening event

Works complete on new £4 million Devon special educational needs school

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Morgan Sindall Construction has completed major refurbishment works to transform a former care home into a special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) school in Tiverton, Devon.

The project, worth £4 million, saw the former Charlton Lodge care home renovated into ACE Tiverton Special School, which will cater for 70 pupils aged 11 to 16 with a range of SEND requirements.

ACE Tiverton Special School has been project managed by NPS South West on behalf of Devon County Council, and is being run by Plymouth-based Alternative Complementary Education (ACE) Schools Trust.

The school was designed as an innovative, co-educational ‘free school’, to offer children high-quality care and education while meeting a growing demand for SEND places in the region.

The school welcomed its first intake of students in September, while an official opening ceremony was held on November 29.

Paul Cockram, area lead and operations manager at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “We are delighted to have delivered this project for Devon County Council, which will help to meet the growing requirement for SEND school places in the region.
ACE Tiverton Special School will build a supportive learning community that encompasses parents, carers and the wider families of children who attend, allowing children to thrive in an enriching environment.”
Gavin Gracie, the CEO of ACE School MAT, the sponsors of ACE Tiverton, said: “We are proud to be running ACE Tiverton on behalf of the students who are the most important people in any school. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the forward thinking leadership of Devon County Council in funding and developing this school. It has been a monumental achievement by everyone concerned to open ACE Tiverton in less than a year.”
James McInnes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet member for schools, said: “Devon County Council has invested £4.5 million into this new special school and I am delighted that the young people and all the staff are so pleased with the facilities we have been able to provide. The new school will provide high-quality care and education for the growing number of children in our county who have special educational needs, closer to their homes and families.
It means we can look after these children in a Devon school rather than relying on expensive private and independent provision. That’s important for them and their families. It’s also an important investment by Devon County Council because our budget for children with high needs is under intense pressure.”

Morgan Sindall Construction has recently delivered a £2.2 million expansion of Torquay Academy in Devon. The development includes a new 300-seat theatre named The Platform, an extension to the school’s dining room, multi-use hall and alterations of the existing multi-use games area (MUGA). The Platform features two changing rooms and two PE classrooms, which have been built behind the sports hall on the edge of the MUGA.