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£8.1m scheme to create hundreds of new SEND school places

admin2020-07-29podcast333
LeicesterCityCouncilhasannouncedthat£8.1millionwillbeinvestedinschemewhichwillcreate

Leicester City Council has announced that £8.1 million will be invested in scheme which will create hundreds of new school places and provisions for children with special educational needs.

The proposals by the council would see three special schools in the city extended to provide extra facilities.

Designated Specialist Provision (DSP) and Specialist Units will also be created at 10 further schools across the city.

In total, the project would create 228 permanent new school places for children with extra needs.

The council says it is needed to both meet the growing demand for places, and reduce the 'costs incurred by placing children in schools further away from the city'. Special schools which would be extended include the Leicester Partnership School in Knighton, Ellesmere College in Rowley Fields and Netherhall Special School, in Netherhall.

Netherall will see its capacity increased by 30, as well as new facilities on site, including classrooms, toilets and a kitchen. Ellesmere Special School will have space for 60-70 new SEND places at the site, as the school's sixth form will be relocated to a separate site at The Rowans in Highfields.

The Leicestershire Partnership School will be able to accommodate 40 more pupils to attend permanently, with three new classrooms, a science lab and a reception, among others.

Work is proposed to start on all sites in September 2020, with the works being complete by January 2021. Designated Specialist Provision (DSP) at 10 other schools means pupils who have additional needs normally beyond the capacity of mainstream education would have those needs met while still being at their own school.

A total of 98 DSPs are proposed at Sandfield Close Primary School (10); Rushey Mead Primary School (10); Kestrel Mead Primary School (8); Willow Brook Mead (8); Fullhurst Community College (10); Orchard Mead (12; Mellor and Braunstone Primaries (20), as well as Early Years Units (10) and Hearing and Early Years Units (10).

The total cost of the DSPs would be £1.22million from the city council's capital budget.

Leicester assistant city mayor for education and housing, Councillor Elly Cutkelvin, said: "Special school places are already in high demand, and this is expected to rise further over the coming years, so investment is required now to ensure we can meet that need.

"The combination of both expanding these three existing schools, and creating more Designated Specialist Provision places, means we can ensure more children get the extra support required to access education, and in the case of the DSPs, doing so while ensuring children can still benefit as much as possible from being within a mainstream setting."

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