Academy that teaches children with serious health problems fears closure after losing Cornwall Council contract

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An academy that provides education for children in Cornwall who are too sick to go to school says it will be forced to close after the council decides to replace it.

Since 2007, CHES Academy, part of the Wave Multi Academy Trust, has been contracted by the Cornwall Council to provide alternative education to 120 students with serious health problems, including cancer.

It provides education at three locations – its Glynn House school base in Truro, a school hall at Royal Cornwall Hospital and an education unit within the Adolescent Mental Health Unit in Bodmin.

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CHES said it had been regularly assessed by Ofsted as outstanding during this period.

However, Cornwall Council chose to award the contract to provide the services from September 2022 to a new supplier, Special Partnership Trust (SPT).

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Rob Gasson, Managing Director of Wave, said that due to the loss of services and revenue that would follow, CHES would most likely have to close as it would become financially unsustainable.

Mr Gasson said Wave was concerned about the bidding process and the decision.

He added: “We have therefore launched an appeal through legal channels. “

A Cornwall Council spokesperson said: “The Cornwall Council is committed to ensuring that every child has access to a high quality education and puts the needs of children at the heart of every decision we make.

“An Alternative Education Provider (AEP) has been identified following a competitive bidding process, with the aim of implementing a new model that will increase capacity and support even more young people in need. medical and health professionals who cannot attend school.

“This new model will offer a minimum of 75 full-time equivalent places and will have the capacity to provide education to up to 150 children, while the current offer is aimed at 120 children.

“Cornwall Council does not have the authority to close academies. We remain committed to working with educational institutions and providers to ensure that every student receives the best possible education.

“As part of the tender process, unsuccessful candidates are free to appeal the board’s decision. While an appeal is in progress, we are unable to comment further.

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