Published 27 April 2016

To mark the 20th anniversary of The Children with Special Needs Foundation, The Countess of Wessex visited two schools in Surrey.

The Foundation was set up to support local children with special needs and help their families and schools - and has supported and donated provisions to the school over the years.

The first was Guildford Grove, a two-form entry primary school, with a maintained nursery, a Children’s Centre and a Specialist Centre for profoundly deaf children. The school was opened in September 2001 in an extensively refurbished and extended school building. The Lighthouse - specialist centre, is the base for 14 profoundly deaf pupils, who are supported in the classroom by teachers of the deaf and sign support assistants.

Later in the day, Her Royal Highness visited The Park School, a mixed secondary day school for 100 pupils with learning difficulties. The school benefits from a wide variety of external agencies that support the needs of their students, including hearing impairment, visual impairment, physical disabilities, physiotherapy, paediatric occupational therapy, transition occupational therapist and Youth Work team.

The Countess of Wessex has a strong personal interest in the provisions for people with disabilities and embracing opportunities for young people, championing both local initiatives such as Disability Initiative in Surrey as well as national charities such as the NSPCC.