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(UK) Bristol: City refuses "desperately needed" new school for kids with ASD; parents furious

Jan 21, 2018, (UK) Bistol Post: Parents fury as councillors refuse 'desperately needed' new school for Bristol's autistic children to protect three trees http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/parents-fury-councillors-refuse-desperately-1095789 Parents of autistic children have been left furious that councillors rejected a plan to build a desperately-needed new school – because they wanted to protect three trees instead. The decision has left children at Bristol’s fastest-growing specialist autistic school in buildings where buckets collect rainwater from the leaking roof. Six councillors refused to give planning permission for a new Venturers Academy school in Withywood, even though planning officers told them that the benefits of having a brand new facility for the city’s autistic children outweighed any problems the new building might create. Now, furious parents have appealed directly Mayor Marvin Rees to intervene, as they say the current school building is ‘in a dilapidated state’. … The school is part of the Venturers Academy trust in Withywood and the plan was to build a bespoke new school for autistic children on the Merchants Academy site in nearby Gatehouse Avenue. … But the new school would mean that the waiting list for places – autistic pupils who can’t access specialist education at Venturers – could be taken in. … “All students have an Education and Health Care Plan, and are among some of society’s most vulnerable children. …