Special needs school to open in city’s former art gallery

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A new school for vulnerable children is being set up at the city’s former art gallery.

Acorn Care and Education has taken over the former gallery on Wentworth Terrace, which will open as a school for up to 36 youngsters in March.

Places for 24 primary school aged children with Social, Emotional and Behaviour Difficulties (SEBD) will be provided at the building.

The new school will also accommodate up to 12 five-19-year olds with other complex needs.

The new school will be an expansion of services in the city by Acorn, which already runs Meadowcroft School, on Bar Lane.

It will include specialist classrooms, computer facilities, therapy rooms and a play area.

Headteacher Lynette Edwards said: “We will be offering an excellent range of specialist staff at The Gallery, including educational, speech and art therapists and a family liaison worker.”

The building dates back to 1885 and was the Wakefield Cathedral vicarage from 1909-1933.

It became the city’s art gallery in 1934. The gallery closed in 2009, before the city’s art collection was moved to new tourist attraction The Hepworth Wakefield.