A school which provided education to dyslexic children is now set to reopen as a social, emotional and mental health school.

Calder House, on Thickwood Lane in Colerne, was set up in 1995 and served as an alternative educational setting for children with dyslexia for almost 30 years. During that time, the school changed the lives of thousands.

The school closed permanently in July 2023, and Wiltshire Council has now acquired the building and hopes to reopen it as a school for young people with social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH).

According to the council, the new school will cater to 50 young people aged 11 to 16 who are not able to receive a suitable education in a mainstream school.

It's hoped that the school will help address the shortage in Ofsted-registered alternative provision places in Wiltshire as the demand for places is continually growing.

"My daughter went to Calder House when it was a school for dyslexic youngsters," said Marlborough Councillor Caroline Thomas.

"It’s a wonderful setup and I’m really pleased we’ve been able to retain it to help future generations of young people facing challenges in their education."

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Calder House School closed in July 2023 having supported pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties for almost 30 years.Calder House School closed in July 2023 having supported pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties for almost 30 years. (Image: Google Maps)

The building how now been acquired and Wiltshire Council hope to open the new school as early as autumn 2024 if plans go as expected.

The council say they hope that as well as addressing the huge demand for alternative education, the school could also provide a transitionary educational setting to help children return to mainstream education or into specialist provision for pupils with an EHCP (educational care plan).

"We have long-term plans to ensure Wiltshire children and young people are educated locally - this aligns with our Business Plan to ensure services are in the right place at the right time," said Councillor Jane Davies, cabinet member for SEND.

"This new school will help address individual needs and support and engage young people in education.

"It will mean those young people who can't attend mainstream or specialist schools will have a full-time equivalent education that is right for their needs."

Wiltshire Council leaders are now in the process of authorising a contract to an external education provider and hope to open the Calder House school in autumn 2024.