Lancashire County Council’s cabinet has approved proposals to create new facilities to support children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) at its meeting today (Thursday 4 March).
Two new special educational needs units will support pupils at mainstream schools.
These units at Barrowford Primary School and St Leonard’s Voluntary Aided C of E Primary School in Padiham will each offer up to 16 additional SEND places, which will be phased in over time.
Two further proposals will create additional special school places.
Opening the top floor of Sir Tom Finney Community High School in Preston will provide an extra 72 places. Moving Broadfield Specialist School in Oswaldtwistle to the former Hameldon Community College site in Burnley will create 60 new secondary places.
These proposals have been produced following several recent consultations.
County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “These new facilities will bring huge improvements to support children with special educational needs and disabilities.
“We’ve listened to the views of children, their families, teachers and other interested parties in our consultations over the last few months and incorporated them into the proposals.
“Pupils should be taught at mainstream schools close to where they live where possible. Creating the new facilities at Barrowford Primary School and St Leonard’s Primary in Padiham will mean we can offer extra places at the heart of local communities.
“However, we recognise that special school provision is also crucial. By developing Sir Tom Finney Community High School and moving Broadfield Specialist School to the site of the former Hameldon Community College in Burnley, we’ll provide a range of additional specialised support for young people.
“These superb teaching facilities will help us to support children and young people to achieve their full potential in education, learning and future employment.
“The improvements are part of our long-term SEND strategy, which aims to provide learning opportunities, support children and young people to develop their talents and make a positive transition to adulthood.”
Edwina Grant OBE, executive director for education and children’s services, said: “We welcome these latest proposals, which will help us strengthen both mainstream and special school provision.
“We want to ensure all children across Lancashire have a good start to life and a great education to take them through to adulthood.
“Creating these new facilities is a key part of our SEND improvement strategy and will help make Lancashire an even better place for children and young people to learn.”
For more information, read cabinet item 5 at: council.lancashire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=122&MId=10412