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Portsmouth City Council's in-house Design team, working with Education, have delivered a new specialist space and facilities for young people with significant physical and mental disabilities.

The Lantern, located in the former Harbour School in Fratton, now accommodates 14 special needs pupils with facilities to improve dramatically the quality of specialist teaching provided.

The new facilities were carefully designed by the council's in-house architects in order to match the complex needs of the attending pupils.

Children using the facilities will often exhibit a wide range of behavioural issues including difficulties relating to others and communicating as well as having difficulty processing sensory information.

The facilities at the school are now geared to the children's individual needs and are matched closely to their learning styles.

The new space is split into two main areas. The first comprises a specialist classroom, a sensory suite, a group teaching room, a multi-functional practical space and toilet facilities.

The second area provides 1-to-1 spaces, a common room, laundry rooms and a second sensory space for older children.

After visiting The Lantern Councillor Darren Sanders, the Council's Cabinet Member for Housing said:

"This new state-of-the-art school will make a difference to the lives of many young people with complex needs as well as their families.

I am hugely impressed at the range of facilities now available. It should not be understated how professional the new space looks especially given the tight delivery deadline."

Councillor Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member for Education said:

"Planning for special needs school places in the city is one of the most important and challenging areas we face at Portsmouth City Council.

Following investment in The Lantern the transformation inside the building has been incredible with the new facilities now meeting the complex needs of some of the most vulnerable children in the city."

Works were fast-tracked in order to complete the project by the end of summer, allowing the school to move in ahead of the start of the 2019/2020 academic year. From start to finish the project took only 66 days to complete.

Mountjoy was responsible for the build of the new space and worked towards in accordance with Portsmouth City Council's proposals and designs. They are now working on a landscape project which is due to complete before the end of this year.

The new school is part of the Solent Academies Trust and serves as an extension to the Mary Rose Academy in Southsea.

Lantern Project - visit (39)
Lantern Project - visit (35)
Lantern Project - visit (38)