AN “EQUINE Assisted Learning Center” has been approved for a breeding site.
Dorset Council has agreed to the change from a farm building for equestrian use to the creation of a riding school on the Notton Farm site in Notton, near Maiden Newton.
The app comes from Mrs. Rebecca Maslen who offers sessions, using horses, for vulnerable children and young adults.
His planning application had won the support of the parish council of Maiden Newton.
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A letter from the planning officers said: ‘The applicant wishes to operate an Equine Assisted Learning Center (EALC) to facilitate learner-led sessions for vulnerable children and young adults, based on natural horsemanship and herd-based observation and interaction. Learning outcomes will vary but will include a mix of specific OCR qualifications and for others the experience at the facility will focus on time to reflect and spend time in the natural environment.
“The proposed horse-assisted learning center will be a small-scale operation focused on 1:1 work for the re-engagement of children who have disengaged from education. The existing building has a stable for 5 horses, naturally limiting the number of sessions that will be available.
Documents submitted to Dorset Council indicate that Ms Maslen studied autism at university followed by further vocational training and is a qualified Special Educational Needs (SEN) counselor for Dorset Council, specializing in assisted learning for children with special educational needs and support for their parents. .
It is also affiliated with EAQ (Equine Assisted Qualifications) Ltd, which sets and monitors quality standards for accredited centres, including staffing, animal welfare, policies and procedures.
Children requiring the use of the center will be referred to the center by Dorset Council who will also provide the majority of the funding to allow the sessions to take place.
Only three EAQ accredited centers currently exist in Dorset with the need to provide similar officially recognized centres. Two of the centers are located near Sturminster Newton and another near Milton Abbas, providing services to children in East Dorset.
The Notton Center is expected to provide services for children in West and South Dorset, including Weymouth and Dorchester.
The center is expected to provide part-time employment for the applicant and one other staff member, who is currently a volunteer.