Currently children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in the UK receive an education that is still stuck in Victorian times. Valicity wants to change this and working with partners including Google has developed a project which brings special education into the 21st century.

The Mill Learning Academy will be based in a disused carpet mill in Halifax. It will be much more than simply a school. It will be a community hub which will bring regeneration to the local area.

In addition to providing schooling which is fit for today’s world, The Mill Learning Academy, will give young people valuable life skills such as time management and self discipline. Students, from all over England, will be welcomed on a day and residential basis.

Reaching the end of compulsory education will not mean the end of a young person’s time at The Mill. Students will be able to move into support accommodation, elsewhere on site, and join a supported internship programme providing the opportunity to learn the skills employers require in the Mill enterprise zone on the ground floor.

Clayton Bryce, founder of Valicity, said:
“We are delighted that our innovative project to ensure that children who need the most support with their education has been given the go-ahead. It is wrong that many children and young people with SEND are not benefitting from the advances in education that other’s do. The Mill Learning Academy will change that. More in line with a secondary style education, our model utilises bespoke education to give our students confidence and independence. Our young people will benefit from state of the art immersive art, music and play therapy space with specialist practitioners making sure students receive maximum benefit from these facilities. Our partners at Google will help us make sure the school is kitted out with technology for the century beyond.

Bryce added:
Education works best when it is rooted in the real world with a view to what each child will do when they leave formal studies. Our vision is to create a school and thriving multipurpose hub at the heart of its local community. The whole community will be welcome at our café, gym, sports hall and shared workspace. Work will be beginning on the mill in the near future and we will share regular updates in due course.”

Renders courtesy of Jade3 Architecture Ltd

Architects renders of The Mill Learning Academy, highlighting the outside activity spaces, café locations.


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