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(UK) Beds: Special school to add 115 more places

Feb 29, 2024, Luton Today:  Plans submitted to expand Houghton Regis special needs school by using former college campus

If approved, 115 extra spaces would be created for students with autism

Near London

Have your say over plans to expand a special education needs school in Houghton Regis.

Central Bedfordshire Council is consulting on proposals to expand and increase capacity at the Children Special School. If approved, they will create 115 new places for pupils with autism and complex needs, taking the school’s total to 419 places.

The council says changes to the school are “to ensure that more children and young people with special education needs and disabilities (SEND) have access to great education close to home”

It added: “A growth in demand for special school provision within Central Bedfordshire has resulted in increased placements within the independent sector and outside of Central Bedfordshire.

“From September 2017 to September 2023, Central Bedfordshire experienced an almost 94 per cent increase in EHC plans. This compares to 65 per cent nationally.” . . .

Moving parts of the school to the new site would allow for extra sensory spaces, more dedicated classrooms, create a secure outdoor space for pupils with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and space for rebound therapy.
 . . .

The council added: “The relocation of pupils from the former primary school site through the refurbishment of the nearby UTC building, will allow for all pupils at the school to benefit from enhanced SEND provision, currently not available or not accessed by all pupils due to the school being on a split site.”

The council has set aside around £50 million [$64M] across Central Bedfordshire.


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