Wembley school opens new special educational needs facility

Inside Barham's new Owl Wing 

Inside Barham's new Owl Wing - Credit: Barham

A Brent primary school has officially opened its new building for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision. 

In 2019, Barham Primary School, in Wembley, was awarded more than £500,000 in money collected from developers – neighbourhood community infrastructure levy (NCIL) – for a new facility, the Owl Wing Learning Centre. 

With 120 children on the SEND register, 20 with education, health and care plans and an increasing number of children starting school with complex needs, the building has been created for Barham Primary School’s children to access the curriculum during the school day, while also receiving the therapies they require.  

Barham Owl Wing Learning Centre

Barham Owl Wing Learning Centre - Credit: Barham

Tina Murray, SEND coordinator at Barham Primary, said: “National statistics show an increase in the number of children with SEND and in particular, educational health care plans.

"With a higher population comes a heavier demand on community facilities – parent carer forum feedback shows families feel there are little to no facilities within the local area that accommodate children and young people with special educational needs.

"Our project allows us to support the local offer and offer a space for these children and families that is purposeful.

"We are also be able to offer a high quality outdoor space for our children and families with SEND – with no judgement and lots of support.

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"This would also support the wellbeing of parents and families within the community.”

SEND coordinator Tina Murray (left), with headteacher Karen Giles

SEND coordinator Tina Murray (left), with headteacher Karen Giles - Credit: Barham

The school has a focus on preparing the children for adulthood, and there are plans to offer the space to support families outside school hours. 

This would include training for families from professionals and therapeutic agencies, having space for children with specific learning needs and disabilities to play and learn in an accessible and safe environment, offering families respite and training.

Other NCIL bidders could use their funding to pay to use the space.

Barham's Owl Wing Learning Centre's outdoor space

Barham's Owl Wing Learning Centre's outdoor space - Credit: Barham

Barham Primary School, in Danethorpe Road,  is a four-form entry school admitting children aged three to 11. The original building dates from the 1930s. In 1991 the building was doubled in size by the completion of a new wing. In April 2003 a new sports hall and music suite were completed.