Empowering Education: The Impact of Specialised Facilities on Student Development

ECP Blog - Bushey Meads The Laurel SRP

In the realm of education, every project we embark upon carries significance. It’s never just about the construction of new buildings, or the refurbishment of study areas. It’s about the ability to help shape the future, facilitating environments conducive to growth and learning.

One particular project we completed for September 2023 exemplifies the very essence of meaningful contribution to education. We had the privilege of spearheading a transformative initiative at Bushey Meads Secondary SchoolIt was to develop a facility dedicated to supporting students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The £1.4 million facility called ‘The Laurel’ was officially opened in February 2024 by Hero Slinn, Hertfordshire County Council’s Director of Inclusion and Skills. The opening was also attended by the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, the Mayor of Hertsmere, and those who contributed to its completion.

Introducing The Laurel

Councillor Caroline Clapper, Executive Member for Education at the Hertfordshire County Council visited the SRP ahead of the official opening. She captured the following video about the project, and what the new facility means to the students.

This is one of seven new specialist resource provisions already open in Hertfordshire. Together, create more than 100 new places for pupils with special educational needs in the county’s schools. Here is an article written about the facility by Hertfordshire County Council.

ECP - The Laurel - YouTube Video

Offering SEND Students a Lifeline

‘The Laurel’ has the capacity to support up to 20 pupils at one time. It offers those students a lifeline when navigating the complexities of their special educational needs. It also provides a safe place for students to go when needed. They can experience the sensory rooms and other facilities, and work with the support staff who help them regulate back to the mainstream classes.

Our Collaborative Involvement

We already had an established relationship with Bushey Meads Secondary School due to working on other CIF projects with them. Initially we were tasked with assessing the feasibility of the proposed SRP at the school. A design had been proposed by the council’s framework architect as it was the council who was funding the project. They were looking for suitable schools in the county to provide the space.

As we reviewed the plans, we identified a few areas in the design that needed refinement before it should go ahead. Our extensive experience in educational environments gives us that greater insight into what works best.

We took the initiative to rework the design. Our changes not only improved accessibility throughout the facility, but also with the approach to the main entrance from the school. These changes aided the construction phase of the project, where new works were now concentrated to one area of the building. This helped reduce disruption to the rest of the school, and the pupils.

During the overall process, we also engaged with the specialist teaching staff to develop the preferred internal colour scheme. We opted for calming greens, and we fine-tuned the layouts to tailor the SRP solution to the school.

The Philosophy of SRPs

When working on a specialised resource provisions (SRPs), the philosophy behind it is to recognise the individuality of students with special education needs and disabilities (SEND). Everyone deserves access to quality education. One size does not fit all in the realm of education and students with SEND should not be isolated.

It’s about providing focused attention on a smaller scale, and by skilled staff. These staff create a supportive and inclusive environment for students to thrive. When they are ready, it’s also about helping facilitate the integration of their students back into more conventional education settings.

Contact Us

If you would like to contact us about this project, or to discuss anything else, please get in touch as we’d love to hear from you – Contact Us.


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