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Principal Matthew Pike is impressed with the impact of the new school

New SEN academy opens in Nuneaton

Parents and pupils express gratitude as new school Macintyre Discovery Academy opens

Posted by Stephanie Broad | September 21, 2016 | Facilities & buildings

The Macintyre Discovery Academy in Nuneaton, Warwickshire opened in April thanks to the East Midlands Property Alliance (empa) and Wates Construction. The academy provides specialist support to 80 pupils aged nine to 18, who would have otherwise been enrolled at a mainstream school or travelled to Rugby or Henley to receive the much-needed educational support.

Parent Donna Mallabone says the school has transformed her family’s life since her 13-year-old son started at the academy. She said: “My son has suffered with extreme anxiety since nursery school which meant that he was unable to cope with a lot of school situations and places where there was a large amount of noise. As a result, he was always shutting himself away and was in and out of school constantly for two and a half years. 

“I had looked at other SEN schools to help him, but the nearest one was in Banbury and I knew the long drive would have a large impact on his anxiety. When I found out that the Macintyre Discovery Academy was opening closer to home, I immediately applied. 

“The impact that the academy has had on our lives has been brilliant. He now has the support system and the security of smaller classrooms to help him, he’s building friendships and since starting school has only missed one day of school and that was for a general illness.”

Evie King, Bo and Matthew Pike, Principal enjoy one of many activities at the school

Principal, Matthew Pike at Macintyre Discovery Academy said the impact of the new school has been remarkable.

“Before opening, local authorities were paying significant amounts of money for children to travel in order to ensure they were receiving the adequate support,” he said. 

“Some of the children were originally enrolled at mainstream schools. While they received the additional support, they felt different and out of place. The academy can now provide them with a place to thrive and they love it.” 

“This school is now able to provide them with a place to thrive and they love it. We have also had a number of parents commenting on how the academy has helped to change both them and their child’s life for the better.” 

The Macintyre Discovery Academy was originally a disused school building that had been closed for more than four years. Working together with Warwickshire County Council, Wates Construction carried out a £6m refurbishment project, which included the delivery of 13 new classrooms.

Wates is an East Midlands Property Alliance (empa) framework partner. Managed by Scape Group and formed by local authorities, the empa framework aims to improve the delivery of construction projects and property maintenance for public sector bodies, saving them and the taxpayer money.  

Paul Windle, regional business manager at Scape Group, added: “We are delighted to see another project delivered by the empa framework helping so many school children gain the vital education they need closer to home.

“Helping communities and providing vital services in the region is at the heart of anything empa and its partners do and we look forward to seeing the children at the academy continue to as a result of the refurbishment.”

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