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(UK) Heref: Elem school gets $2.9M for SPED expansion; autism 'highest need' in co

Sept 22, 2023, BBC News: Herefordshire school SEN facility set for £2.4m [$2.9M] expansion

W. Midlands

A primary school is set to receive £2.4m [$2.9M] to extend an over-capacity special needs centre.

Herefordshire Council will discuss a plan to expand the language and communication centre at Hampton Dene Primary School in Tupsley next week.

The facility has 32 places for autistic pupils and those with speech, language and communication needs.

It has been full since 2018, according to a council report, but continued to admit children.

The report, from head of educational development Quentin Mee, stated the facility was now 50% above capacity.

It added the number of children in the county with specialist care plans had been increasing over the past five years and was expected to continue to do so.

Children with autism spectrum disorder had been identified as "the highest need in Herefordshire", the document added….

The council has set up four hubs in mainstream schools for autistic children "to limit the number of pupils having to attend schools either out of county and/or in the independent sector, which comes at a significant cost", the report continued.

The planned expansion would accommodate a further 16 learners in two new classrooms, a meeting room and outdoor space, with funding drawn from almost £4m [$4.9M] of government grants ringfenced for special needs facilities in Herefordshire schools….

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