A TEACHER is one step closer to breaking down barriers for children with additional needs.

Kierran Pearce set up the Multi Schools Council in 2012, a school integration project bringing mainstream and special needs children together.

Driven by a desire to ensure every child’s voice is heard no matter the challenges they face, he wants to roll the project out across the whole country.

The teacher at Market Field School, in Elmstead Market, is celebrating as the Multi Schools Council has just received community interest company (CIC) status.

He said: “It allows us to apply for funding that will directly impact the ideas of the children.

“We know if we want to create a sustainable change within education, this can’t be a flash in the pan idea and a CIC gives us the platform to build on.”

He has also been given a full-time contract to work on developing the Multi Schools Council.

He will start this role in September.

Mr Pearce said: “I think it is amazing to see how far we have come since four schools in 2012, but we are not even half way through our journey.

“Eventually I want every county in England to be involved in the council and the Department for Education to support us.

“Education is for everyone, or at least it should be, and unless we create a better understanding around special educational needs and mental health we will never create the environments children need.

“We should always be responding to pupil voice because it is their voice that matters the most.”

He thanked Essex County Council and Market Field School for sharing the same vision.

In the summer he will be walking to the 18 special educational needs schools around Essex - the equivalent of a marathon a day - for five days.

To support Mr Pearce, visit his fundraising page at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/kierran-pearce.