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St Matthias Academy Expansion Consultation

This consultation is in regard to St Matthias Academy, in Bristol, which caters for 65 young people who have been excluded, or at risk of exclusion from mainstream schooling. It acts as a Pupil Referral Unit for Bristol and is termed an Alternative Provision. We are seeking to expand this provision as part of the strategic plan by Bristol City Council (BCC), to create additional places for young people with Special Education Needs (SEND) recognised through an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP), specifically those with Social and Emotional Mental Health Needs (SEMH).

As part of Learn@ MAT we are seeking to increase the overall role and capacity of St Matthias is two specific ways:

  1. To expand its role in the Central and East region of Bristol to support Primary aged children (Key Stage 1 and 2) at a Primary Early Intervention Base at Easton Primary, Bristol. The development and facilitation of this new Primary Alternative Provision base for Central and East Bristol is being led by the Dioceses of Bristol Academy Trust (DBAT). St Matthias will manage the provision and ensure high quality teaching and learning is provided on the site for the 8 young people who attend. All Primary Schools in the Central and East region of Bristol will have access to this provision through the locally managed referral system. The aim of this provision is to provide early support for young people, predominantly at Key Stage 2 and ensure they receive the appropriate support to either return successfully to mainstream schooling or transfer with an EHCP to specialist schooling.
  1. To expand the purpose of St Matthias from an AP/PRU to also providing long-term places for up to 24 secondary aged students who have an EHCP for SEMH. It is planned for a refurbished base for 16 secondary aged students to be on the Fishponds site, and 8 secondary aged places on the Brentry site. The main site of St Matthias is in Fishponds, Bristol, is already land registered with Learn@ MAT and it is planned that in providing these extra places the Brentry site will transfer to the Trust on the same arrangement of a long-term peppercorn rent through the Department for Education (DfE).

These important new expansions will both support BCC in ensuring that it has the necessary SEND places across the City of Bristol to meet need and demand, and also increase opportunities for younger children to gain early access to the specialist support and interventions St Matthias Academy can provide. St Matthias has successfully provided AP/PRU support for Bristol for an extensive number of years establishing a very experienced and skilled staff with a proven track record of reintegrating students successfully in to mainstream schools and supporting those with more significant SEND to specialist education.

The most important feedback we need from you is that you feel we are the right organisation, namely Learn@ MAT, to manage this expansion and ensure these additional places and facilities are available for the young people of Bristol.

We believe we are a unique Trust that has established itself as a regional and national voice, for both the young people and the families of young people with SEMH, SLCN or in Alternative Provision. We have an established and committed Board of Trustees with a wide range of knowledge and skills, who wish to encourage, challenge and support the leaders of their Academies in creating the best holistic learning opportunities possible for our young people.

We would really appreciate your feedback and the opportunity to answer any of your questions through our public consultation meeting or through our enclosed questionnaire, which can also be accessed through our website www.learnmat.uk

Our public consultation meeting will be held virtually using Zoom and we ask that you book onto the following session via info@learnmat.uk :

Thursday 11th March at 4pm

If you are unable to attend the consultation meeting you can always send your queries to info@learnmat.uk and we will get back to you.

We look forward to hearing from you, receiving your questionnaire feedback, and/or talking with you at our consultation meetings.