PARENTS opposing Wiltshire Council’s plans to build a super school to replace three special schools for children have won permission for a judicial review into the way Wiltshire Council carried out its consultation.

The team behind the Keep Special Schools Local campaign has already raised £12k to pay for legal fees to challenge Wiltshire Council.

They do not want to see special schools in Rowde, Chippenham and Trowbridge replaced by one Centre for Excellence in Rowde in 2023.

A Wiltshire Council spokesman confirmed that the council had been notified of the hearing and said: “The claimants have obtained leave to take some parts of their case forward to a substantive hearing.

“We will await the outcome of this before commenting further. We remain committed to providing all our pupils with the best SEN education into the future.”

A group of parents from both Larkrise in Trowbridge and St Nicholas’ in Chippenham travelled to Cardiff today to hear the decision read out in court.

Teresa Lilley said they were “absolutely thrilled” to be see their case move forward.

She added: “The heart of our case is the need for openness and transparency between all stakeholders – and that includes Parents/Carers – right from the start. All opinion and expertise must be utilised to arrive at the right decision for all our children so that they can be included and supported at the heart of their own communities, from birth right through to adulthood. We hope that from now on all parties will listen to each other and work together to achieve the excellent outcomes we all want for our children.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to all our supporters throughout Wiltshire and beyond. We would also like to pay tribute to our fabulous legal team.

“Today has been a huge step forward for our campaign. We would urge all of our supporters and those who value local special needs schools to donate at to Keep Special Schools Local.”

The group’s solicitor, Keith Lomax, said: “Over the years we have seen useful legislation that has imposed duties on councils, such as equality duties. There are specific requirements for the council to engage with parents, children, council, communities, and when a council runs roughshod over us – as we say Wiltshire Council has – then we need to stand up and shout. But protest is not enough. We need legal action, too, and that means legal costs.

“If challenges like these are not taken up then councils will go on trampling on people’s rights. It’s important for all children and all communities that bad council decisions are taken to task, wherever they occur.”