Plans to form a new satellite school site to keep up with swelling demand for specialist education in Bromley have been published, with locals’ opinions on the potential move wanted.

Residents have until the end of June to comment on Bromley Council’s proposal to build a new satellite site of the Riverside Community Special School at the Hawes Down Centre in West Wickham.

The new expansion would join the school’s existing sites at St Paul’s Cray and Beckenham, with the council saying it would provide an additional 60 places for local students with special educational needs.

According to the council, ballooning numbers of children with Education, Health and Care Plans have far outweighed projected increases in recent years.

“Since 2018 there has been a 28.5 per cent increase in the number of Education, Health and Care Plans issued in Bromley against a projected increase of 7 per cent across the four years from 2018 to 2022,” council documents state.

The authority states there is a particular shortage of places for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) or severe learning difficulty (SLD).

“The council needs to take action to ensure that children with an EHC plan

who require this type of provision are able to access an appropriate school

place in September 2020 and beyond,” documents say.

“The expansion of Riverside School will help Bromley Council meet this need through increasing the capacity of the school from 259 to 319 places.”

West Wickham’s three ward councillors – Nicholas Bennett, Mark Brock

and Bromley Mayor Hannah Gray – have previously voiced their support for the project, particularly as the Hawes Down Centre already contains special facilities such as a sensory room and soft play areas.

Any person wanting to comment on the proposal can send their representations to

Full plans can be found at

The closing date for comments is Tuesday, June 30 June.