New special school at Paddox site

New headteacher Sophie Garner.
New headteacher Sophie Garner.

A new special school is opening on the site of the old Paddox School in Hillmorton.

Building work has been taking place at the new Avon Park School in St John’s Avenue.

Headteacher Sophie Garner has been appointed to run it and said she is looking forward to the challenge.

She has 15 years experience in special education and comes from a headteacher post at Chilworth House School in Oxfordshire.

Preparation is well under way for Avon Park and the renovations of the existing building started back in May.

It is a big project but one that Sophie is thoroughly enjoying.

Sophie, who lives in Banbury, said: “I am very excited to be given the opportunity to develop this new provision for the Witherslack Group.

“There has already been a fantastic response to the school from the local authority, prospective parents and the community.”

Avon Park will have a therapeutic environment for pupils to grow and learn in.

Sophie added: “It’s a very exciting time because it’s not very often a brand new school is built from scratch

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge and getting to know people in Rugby.”

Avon Park School will be a co-educational, special day-school, providing education for children between the ages of five and 16.

The school will benefit a diverse group of pupils who will primarily have needs associated with complex educational needs, communication difficulties and challenging behaviours.

The school will have a range of high quality facilities including subject specialist teaching areas, primary specific classrooms, therapy facilities, innovative IT equipment and sensory room.

Avon Park School will opens its doors on November 2. For more information email