Plans to expand special school places agreed

Published Wednesday, 20th March 2019
Plans to expand special school places agreed
Councillor Watson, Luci Windle (Head Teacher) with pupils from Abbey School along with Warren Carratt, CEO Nexus Multi Academy, David Scholey (Building Surveyor Rotherham Council), Guy Fullwood (RH Fullwood Contracts Manager) James Henshaw (Regional Sales Manager SiBCAS)

Plans to increase capacity at Rotherham schools for places for children with special educational needs have been agreed by Council leaders.

Rotherham Council has committed to increasing the number of SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) places available in the borough by an additional 125 places over the next three years. This includes places for those aged 16 to 19.

This includes plans to spend £200k of capital funding on a further 10 additional places at Willows special school. And earlier this year four new classrooms were officially opened at Abbey School, creating an extra 20 places to meet rising demand.

Abbey school has seen its pupil number rise significantly over the past three years, with 150 children and young people now on roll compared to 80 in September 2016.

Cllr Gordon Watson, Rotherham Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People was at the opening of the Abbey school classrooms in January. He said: “We are committed to giving every child the best start in life and that includes children with special educational needs and disabilities.

“All children should be able to access suitable places at local schools, no matter what their needs are. That is why we are committing funding to increase places across the borough.”

Other schools which have already benefitted from the expansion plans include the Rowan Centre and Newman School.

Further plans are expected for Wales High School, Aspire, Milton School and Waverley Junior Academy.

These improvements, which are all part of the council’s SEND sufficiency strategy, will see more students able to receive specialist support within their local community.