New Learning Centres for South Kintyre and Islay

Two new Learning Centres for children and young people with complex Additional Support Needs (ASN) living in some of Argyll and Bute’s most remote areas will open towards the end of 2024. The centres will offer access to enhanced and specialist support without having to travel outside the local area.  

Following the decision at Argyll and Bute Council’s meeting in November 2023 to invest more than £1.7million in four new learning centres across the area, work is due to start on the first two centres, located at Islay High School and Castlehill Primary, Campbeltown. 

Islay High School will be a cross sector facility available for both primary and secondary pupils, with the new Learning Centre in the Campbeltown area serving Primary aged children and young people.

The new facilities will include:

  • Breakout quiet rooms
  • Low stimulus and high stimulus sensory rooms
  • Changing facilities with specialist equipment to meet specific physical needs
  • Accessible teaching and outdoor spaces 

Learning Centres will also develop curriculum plans to include a wide-range of flexibility to support all learners to achieve their potential supported by staff who are experienced in complex Additional Support Needs.

In Helensburgh, Hermitage Academy will host a new learning centre for secondary pupils with design works underway, whilst plans for development of a cross-sector Learning Centre on Mull are at an early stage.

Councillor Yvonne Mcneilly, Policy Lead for Education:

"Identifying the first two Learning Centres on Islay and in Campbeltown marks a key milestone for our Education Service, as we look to improve and secure specialist provision for children and young people with additional support needs in Argyll and Bute. 

This significant investment will increase the number of dedicated Learning Centres and enable more pupils to access key services locally, without long periods of travel to external placements. Having dedicated primary Learning Centre provision in south Kintyre and cross-sector provision on Islay is going to make a huge difference to children, young people and their families, enabling them to maintain an inclusive and full lifestyle within their own community.”

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