May 7, 2019, South Wales Argus: Consultation launched on plan to expand number of places at Ysgol Bryn Derw in Newport https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/17624135.consultation-launched-on-plan-to-expand-number-of-places-at-ysgol-bryn-derw-in-newport/ A CONSULTATION has been launched on plans to expand a school in Newport to help meet demand for places. Newport City Council is consulting on increasing the capacity at Ysgol Bryn Derw, one of two special schools in the city, from 48 school places to 68 from January 2020. The school caters for children with autism spectrum disorder and associated learning difficulties aged three to 19. Demand for places continues to be higher than provision at the school, located in the Gaer area of the city. A consultation launched on May 1 and running until June 11 says there will be "limited opportunities" to admit further pupils unless capacity is increased. It is anticipated there will be continued demand for places from both within Newport and other neighbouring authorities…. "This could lead to those pupils currently needing a specialist ASD placement who are in our local Primary Learning Resource Bases having to be placed in out of county provisions, which are costly and can be a significant distance away from a pupil’s home address." Under the plans, an empty building within the school grounds could be refurbished to provide additional teaching space for 12 pupils. Two classrooms could be based within the upgraded building. A life skills area and quiet rooms are also proposed, with a disabled platform lift installed to allow access to the area. A feasibility study has estimated the required refurbishments could be carried out at a cost of around £300,000, [$390,000 US dollars] with the council having applied for Welsh Government funding….