Empty Wembley library could become new school

Specialist school would cater for pupils with Special Educational Needs

Concerned parents have put in a proposal to set-up a new school for children with special educational needs (SEN) at a disused library in Wembley.

The submission, made by the We Care Foundation (WCF), would see a Co-operative College set up in the former Barham Library building in Barham Park.

The school, which would be called Eden Manor Secondary Special School, would cater for 11 plus year olds suffering with autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia.

Speaking to the Times, Toby Chambers, a member of the WCF, said they wanted to address what was a “massive problem” in Brent.

He said: “We are seeing more and more SEN children having to travel outside the borough to get the education they require.”

According to council figures there are 174 SEN children who are travelling outside of Brent’s boundaries for their education, twice the national average.

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Mr Chambers added: “We want to give children a supportive environment and ensure that they don’t have to change schools or environment.”

A Co-operative college delivers programmes to help individuals and groups achieve skills and understanding with ‘co-operative principles’ but distance themselves from local authority control.

The site of the Barham Library, which ceased to be a reading room after it was shut down by Brent Council last year, is currently open for bidders.

Among those bidding are campaigners from the local area hoping to run a community library.

Mr Chambers added: “We believe our proposal will benefit the community enormously and that we can open the building out outside of school and weekends for further educational use.”

The WCF estimate they will need in excess of �1m to carry through their vision but insist they have attracted interest from potential investors including the Big Society Capital Fund.

If they are successful in their request Eden Manor would open in September of next year.