(UK) Bournemouth: $10.8M to create 500 special ed places in local schools

Sept 24, 2022, Bournemouth Echo: More SEND places could be found in BCP mainstream schools

S. central England

UP to 500 special education need places could be found in mainstream schools throughout Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

The offer of the places has come after BCP wrote to all the schools in the area to see what they were willing to offer.

Like other areas BCP has been unable to find school places for all its children with special educational or physical needs within the area with some being educated away from home, or with specialist operators.

Tanya Smith, head of the service for school place planning, told BCP councillors that there has been 34 expressions of interest from sixteen education trusts locally which could translate into 300-500 places.

Around £10m [$10.8M] in grants is expected to be available to help develop a range of schemes.

She told the children’s services overview and scrutiny committee that many of the offers were still being evaluated with a priority for those pupils with speech and language communication challenges and social, emotional and mental health needs.

The area is also trying to cope with an increase in pupils with additional needs – increasing by 90 new applications in the lower age groups in just a year, some of them accounted for by movements into the area by refugees, but also from people moving to the area to take up jobs or to study at Bournemouth University,…