Stop cuts to SEN Children's Services & Save Tower House & The Nest in East Sussex

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Parents, carers, staff and students were very shocked and surprised to have received notification regarding the closure of an after school and residential facility at Tower House, Seaford, and The Nest at St Marys in Heathfield.

These are schools for students with special Educational Needs in East Sussex

The facility has been used for many years and has proved invaluable with providing students with social skills, independence, stability, friendships, general life skills and improved behaviour both in and outside the school environment.

Having time away from the home environment has really given the students some much needed independence. Almost all pupils at the school are registered as disabled.

Cuckmere House School and St Marys  are special school for boys with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties and supports those with mental health needs, which go far beyond the setting of a classroom environment.

The closure of such a valuable facility as Tower House and the Nest is a failing by ESCC to look beyond funding and into assisting children and young people to work on their difficulties within a safe, familiar environment which enables them to grow and develop with their peers, supported by very experienced staff, outside of the classroom setting.

The facility, which has for the past two years received an Outstanding Ofsted report, has proven positive results.decision to close Tower House was made. 

The mental health of children should always be made a priority.
Investing now must save money in later life as without this help so many of these young vulnerable boys would certainly end up on long term disability or worse, would commit crime and end up imprisoned.

The unit at Cuckmere costs in the region of £210k to run a year providing many young boys with the tools they need for later life; to get them out of 'the system' and into work and life as happy, well adjusted, young men.

The children at both of these schools have social,emotional and behavioural issues. Many have been excluded from mainstream schools. They are unable to access community groups because of their complex needs. These schools provide them with opportunities to develop social skills, make friends, try new activities in a safe environment with highly trained care staff. The care staff also support the children during the school day and are there to support the children through difficult situations. These staff are at risk of loosing their jobs and the schools will loose highly trained, specialist care givers.

This provision has been a lifeline for many students and parents. To loose it would be devastating and students would not be able to participate in activities with their peers which would lead to social isolation for many of them and could make their conditions worse.

We seek long term funding for these units and to raise awareness of the needs of students such as these in UK.

With long term funding the staff will be able to continue to give the exceptional level of care for the students who need it the most.

Please sign our petition and give these boys who suffer so much discrimination a voice and a chance of a successful future.


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