From September 2024 we expect SENDAT to be part of EEG

The newly expanded Eastern Education Group will include West Suffolk College, One Sixth Form College, Abbeygate Sixth form College and Exning Primary school

Latest News

29-2-24 Department for Education (DfE), Eastern Region Advisory Board approves the merger of SENDAT and EEG and the academisation of Exning Primary school.

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Shared Vision

Our Mission is to provide aspirational, high quality and inclusive education for all students throughout our communities in the Eastern region, supporting them to become both fulfilled and play their part in being the drivers of our local, regional, national and global economy.

Our Vision is to be the centre of outstanding education across the region which ensures all students have the knowledge, skills and behaviours to progress to the next stage of their life and are ready for living and working in modern Britain.

Our five student pillars will build the students’ connections, inclusivity, qualifications and character strengths.

  • Connections: Our students can expect support in making excellent connections with their local community and employers, in order to maximise opportunities for their future.
  • Inclusivity: Our students can expect to have the learning pathway and support programme appropriate to their needs.
  • Qualifications: Our students will achieve the most appropriate qualifications, completed to the very best of their ability, to enable them to progress to their next stage.
  • Opportunity: Our students will be placed on the right courses and given a breadth of academic, vocational and enrichment learning opportunities and challenge with full wrap around support removing any learning barriers.
  • Character Strengths: Our students will be resilient, confident and independent thinkers, and will be able to demonstrate to employers and universities that they have the strength of character to stand out above the rest.

Our staff pillars will build and develop a skilled, highly trained and motivated workforce.

  • Staff will be recruited to ensure the right staff are in the right job and at the right level.
  • Staff will be invested in and undertake ongoing training, coaching and mentoring, enabling all staff to grow and progress within the Staff Career pathways.
  • Staff will use research-led best practice.
  • Staff will engage in a shared, inspirational vision to change the world through education.
  • Staff will work in a culture of coaching and human first leadership.
  • Staff will be able to access appropriate programmes of professional clinical supervision if required for their roles. Staff will be supported by the correct systems to enable them to carry out their jobs efficiently and effectively.

Within 3 years:


  • All students will learn at schools and colleges which are good or outstanding.
  • Each student will be placed on the right core, adapted or bespoke course, which is tailored to their needs, beginning their own learning journey. Every student matters, and will be recognised and supported as an individual with specific needs.
  • All working practices and policies will incorporate current and best practice, e.g. Trauma Informed Approach.
  • Our Alternative Provision offer will expand to also include a farm setting.
  • We will have our own residential centre with all pre-16 students being offered at least 2 nights away per year.
  • All 14-25 year old students will have the option to complete the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
  • There will be many opportunities for students to engage in activities and experiences across the whole of the Group, such as the ‘SENDAT 20’ which offers a rich and diverse number of experiences from flying a kite to fundraising for a charity.
  • At post-16, 75% of students with EHCP will be on mainstream courses with appropriate support.
  • All pre-16 students will be guaranteed a post -16 option within the Group if they choose to remain.
  • The Group central therapy team will include: Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapy, Educational Psychologists, Art/Music Therapy, Sensory Therapy, Physical Therapy, etc. – All SEND /Alternative Provision will be Trauma Informed Schools approved.
  • All Gatsby benchmarks will be met for all students.
  • All students in years 10 and above will receive appropriate work experience.
  • All students will be supported with their own IT device laptop/tablet etc.
  • Parents and carers will be offered a range of accessible courses to engage in and promote their lifelong learning and skills.
  • The Group will work with other community partners to enable us to be viewed as a leading hub of learning in the region.
  • The SENDAT brand will be retained and the SENDAT admissions and review team will remain discrete.

The Group

  • The Group will be financially viable at all times.
  • The Group will meet targets for:
    • Sustainability
    • Equality
    • Diversity
    • Inclusion
    • Recruitment & Retention
  • The Group will have a SEND focus and Trauma Informed approach in planning across all provisions.
  • The Group will have plans and budget for sustainable energy and capital investment.
  • Student experience and outcomes and the Nolan Principles will be the foundation of all decision making.
  • The Group will offer an enhanced learning and qualification experience offering wrap around support for staff and students.
  • Principles of Trauma Informed Schools UK will inform policies and relationships with colleagues.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

We are in the very early stages of discussions with a view to potentially merging SENDAT with the Eastern Colleges Group (ECG). ECG comprises West Suffolk College, Abbeygate Sixth Form College in Bury St Edmunds and One Sixth Form College in Ipswich.

We believe that student outcomes will be stronger due to more opportunities to ensure that each student is being placed on the right course to achieve the right qualification for their ability level. By merging the organisations, we can offer more equality of opportunities and create better outcomes for students from all walks of life, regardless of any individual need, disabilities or disadvantage.

EEG and SENDAT have worked in close partnership for many years.  The ethos and values of the organisations are very closely aligned with students at the heart of everything that we do.

There are growing numbers of students with additional needs or more specific Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) which have been identified on Educational Health and Care Plans.  We want all students in all provisions to have access to the support they require to access appropriate high-quality education.  This may be in the form of additional support and learning pathways in mainstream, access to specialist units, Alternative Provision (AP) or in a special school placement.

There will be no redundancies or reapplication for jobs required. There will be no change in your current position, pay, or terms and conditions without prior consultation.  Indeed, we believe there will be more opportunities. We will continue to invest in you via ongoing training, coaching and mentoring to enable you to grow and progress within the wider staff career pathways of both organisations.  We believe in research-led best practice and we hope that you will all engage in our shared, inspirational vision to change the world through education. 

Yes there are a number of examples of partnerships that have been formalised to similar arrangements as it has been evidenced that this can bring benefits to all students, staff and local communities.

We are in the very early stages at present with many steps, including staff and public consultation, ahead of us.  The earliest it could be is Spring 2024

This is yet to be decided.  If you have any great ideas, please let us know!

No! we have had clear confirmation that this will not be affected if this merger goes ahead.