Unveiling plans for our new home – a National Centre for Conductive Education

We are today unveiling a blueprint for a National Centre for Conductive Education.

Here’s our press release on the news:

The Centre will be the home of Paces, already a specialist in Conductive Education, which was founded in 1997 in the north of Sheffield. They have today announced that they are to build a new purpose-built home, just off the Sheffield Parkway.

A major fundraising campaign to allow the project to move forwards is launching and, subject to planning permission and other contracts being signed, it is hoped the new build can open in September 2022.

Conductive Education is a holistic package of educational support that aims to help children and adults obtain the greatest level of independence through a range of supportive physical interventions.

The new Centre, which is being specifically designed to meet the needs of the charity and school and provide a UK-hub for developments in Conductive Education, is planned to be sited within Waverley’s residential development, where Harworth has consent for nearly 4,000 homes with just under 1,000 already built.

The new Centre will include:

  • A 64 FTE place school (creating both full time and part time SEN places – supporting up to 80 school children) and an Outreach and ‘In-reach’ programme for 0-4’s supporting 28 children.
  • An assisted living facility for 20 individuals – 10 adult assisted living overnight places and 10 children assisted living overnight places.
  • A 12-place adult day service.
  • An adult sessional programme supporting 100+ people each week.
  • Hydrotherapy facilities.
  • A hub for the community to use alongside the charity – to place Paces at the heart of the development and the residents and employees who live, work and visit the area.

Paces has outgrown its existing site in High Green and, following a city-wide search for a suitable plot, today unveiled its ambitious designs for the future of the organisation.

Designed by Sheffield architects Race Cottam Associates, and building on work started by Sheffield University Masters Architecture Team, the modern development aims to be interactive and imaginative, stimulating and calming with a connection to nature.

Read more about the plans here >>

Dr Spencer Pitfield, Chief Executive of Paces, unveiled the plans and said this was a pivotal moment both for Paces and Conductive Education:

“We’re proud to have been at the forefront of the development of Conductive Education but we know that there is more demand for our care than we are currently able to support. 

“Moving to a new site, still at the heart of South Yorkshire, will be a big change for us – we’re proud of our High Green roots – but we need to make the leap to turn our vision of a National Centre of Excellence for Conductive Education a reality.” 

Ann Menzies-Blyth, Chair of Trustees of Paces, said: 

“I hope everyone will agree that these plans are exciting and literally ground-breaking. More importantly, they are going to happen, following consultations with stakeholders. We look forward to building our New Home, beginning soon, and a new chapter of growth and expansion for the children, adults and the families we support, both now and in the future, can begin.”

 Colin Harris, Chair of Governors at Paces School, said: 

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to deliver an environment that will enable our school team to optimise the development and education of our children, students and young adults.”

Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the House of Commons Education Committee and Paces’ Patron, said:

“Our inquiry into the help available for parents of children with special educational needs found that many face a titanic struggle just to try and ensure their child gets access to the right support. 

“We need more places like Paces so parents and carers do get the right support, and children and adults get the opportunities they deserve. Their new home will allow them to do that, and I am thrilled to be able to support it.”

Internationally renowned language expert and Paces’ Patron, Professor Rosemary Varley from University College London said:

Paces is an inspiring place and I know the difference the work they do already makes to those living with Cerebral Palsy and motor disorders. 

“Neuroscience research is revealing new ways we can enhance the capabilities of children and adults with neurological impairments. The new developments at Paces will support children and adults in achieving their potential, but also enable research into effective interventions. Conductive Education has the power to change lives so it is absolutely right we should have a National Centre of Excellence and this vision of the future is hugely exciting. I look forward to see it become a reality”

Paces is now in the process of agreeing Heads of Terms with Harworth for the purchase of the land that the centre will be built on and, following that, a full planning application will be submitted with further consultation with key stakeholders including Rotherham Council.