"As a Catholic School, we take the mission of Jesus Christ at the centre of all that we do. The home, parish and school come together to provide a caring family atmosphere. "


The Directors of St Thomas Catholic Academies Trust are seeking views on the development of a SEND Unit at Cardinal Newman School, Luton.  The provision was developed as part of the Local Authority strategy to address High Needs in Luton, and was opened to a small number of students in January 2022 and fully opened in the new building in September 2022.

This consultation is required to confirm the significant change to the school setting.  The Trust and school leaders are planning no change to the provision that is already in place. 

The setting supports students with Autism Spectrum needs and students with Visual Impairment needs.  Students are supported to access high quality education through the specially designated unit and specialist facilities developed and funded by Luton Borough Council.  Developing this provision has ensured more students are able to access a local provision bringing learning and wellbeing benefits to their family.

The provision has places for:

  • 8 students with Autism Spectrum Condition needs
  • 8 students with Visual Impairment needs.

Support for the project:

The provision was developed in partnership with the Local Authority in response to both the local need for provision and pressure on the High Needs block that resulted in too many students accessing provision beyond the local community – and doing so at great cost.  The strategy was developed following consultation by the Local Authority and has the approval of the Local Authority, the Diocese of Northampton, the Local Academy Committee and the Directors of the Trust through the agreements set out through building development.

Impact on other providers:

There is no impact on other local providers.  The provision has been developed in response to a lack of appropriate provision within the local community.  The student numbers within this provision do not form part of the Pupil Admission Number for the school.

Equalities impact assessment:

The provision supports students with specific needs with places determined by need in accordance with legislation around Education and Health Care Plans.  Increasing the education offer to students with disabilities within the local area is a substantial benefit to those students with protected characteristics.

Your views:

Please share your views by responding to our consultation email address at consultation@stcat.co.uk.  The consultation will run for a statutory period of 4 weeks from Wednesday 1 February 2023 to Wednesday 1 March 2023.   An information evening will be held upon request on Thursday 9 February 2023, 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm.   To book a place on that evening please email consultation@stcat.co.uk.

Consultation circulation:

  • Parents of children who attend the school
  • Parents in the area
  • Primary, secondary, AP and special schools and sixth form and FE colleges in the area
  • The Diocese of Northampton
  • There is no impact on admissions and authorities for admissions are not included in this consultation

Closing date of consultation: Midday, Wednesday 1 March 2023