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(UK) Blyth: 50% increase in SPED students in 6 yrs; 80 places added

July 13, 2021, ChronicleLive: Blyth to get 80-place special needs school thanks to £1 million [$1.4 M U.S.] funding boost NE England

Children with special needs could be able to go to school closer to home thanks to plans for a major boost to provision in the North East. Bosses at Northumberland County Council have agreed to pump more than £1 million into a new school in Blyth catering for some of the region’s most vulnerable young people. It is hoped the scheme will create 50 places for pupils from Northumberland, with a further 30 on offer to families in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Gateshead. .. “We have increasing need [for SEND places] - there's been a 50 per cent increase in children with complex needs between 2013 - 2019. “And this will create 80 new places for young people aged 11 - 16 on the autistic spectrum or with special social, emotional and mental health needs, so we need to get this over the line.” Cllr Renner-Thompson was speaking at Tuesday’s meeting of the county council’s ruling cabinet, which agreed to release up to £1,057,675 towards costs of the planned Gilbert Ward Academy. This will match funding allocated by the Department for Education, which approved an application by the Prosper Learning Trust (PLT) to run the school last year (2020)…. According to a report for council bosses, the number of children attending special needs schools has surged by almost a third since 2013, putting increasing pressure on existing schools and leading to a rise in complaints…. “We look forward to welcoming them through the doors when we open.”


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