New primary special school chooses name and Head

The new primary special school will be called Sladewood Academy and will be led by Headteacher Katy Hanna.

The school will open in the former Severn View Primary School building in Stroud in September 2023 to children from across the county with moderate and additional learning difficulties (MALD).

SAND Academies Trust has appointed Katy Hanna as the Headteacher. Katy has been an Assistant Headteacher at Belmont School, a special school in Cheltenham, for over eight years.

Katy said, “I am really excited to be appointed as the Headteacher of Sladewood Academy. As a school we believe that ‘Together we will thrive’. We aim to create a meaningful and positive learning environment where children develop a love of learning, and where strong relationships are at the heart of everything we do.

“I am looking forward to fostering strong connections with the local community, enabling our children to reach their true potential, and to develop essential life skills for a successful future.”

The school is named after Slade Woods, the woods that sit behind the academy, and was chosen in liaison with the local community in Stroud.

Cllr Philip Robinson, cabinet member responsible for education at Gloucestershire County Council, said, “We’re thrilled to see the new school moving forward and delighted to welcome Katy to the role. Increasing the number of special school places in the county is a priority to achieve the best possible outcomes for some of our most vulnerable children and young people.”

Martin Hughes, Chief Executive of SAND Academies Trust, said, “We are delighted to be opening Sladewood Academy later this year. Plans are progressing well in developing the building, procuring classroom materials and recruiting teachers and support staff at the school. We are very grateful to Pied Piper who are supporting the school with a donation for outside play equipment.

“As a Gloucestershire based multi-academy trust we are experienced in providing outstanding education for pupils, families and carers in our county. We look forward to engaging with and becoming part of the Stroud community.”

Gloucestershire County Council has increased the number of special school places throughout the county to meet the growing demand for places, and last year opened Brook Academy – a special school for young people aged 11-16 in Brockworth.

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