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(UK) Leicester: $6.3M for high needs school/$22M to expand special ed places

April 6, 2022, Leicester City Council: £4.8m scheme provides school places for 60 children with complex needs

THE TRANSFORMATION of a former music and drama centre into a purpose-built school for children with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) is now complete, following a major programme of works. Leicester City Council has invested £4.8m [$6.3M] in the Knighton Fields Centre on Herrick Road to create a modern, flexible school environment for young people with communication and interaction difficulties, including complex autism. The refurbished premises – now a satellite campus for Ellesmere College – will provide places for 60 children between the ages of 5-19, whose complex needs mean they cannot be accommodated in mainstream settings. … Welcoming the completion of works, assistant city mayor for education Cllr Elly Cutkelvin said: “We’re working hard to meet the growing demand for SEND provision in the city, both by increasing capacity at our special schools and by creating additional specialist places within mainstream schools. “These 60 additional spaces at the new Knighton Fields campus are just part of our commitment to increasing our specialist support for children and young people whose needs can’t be met within mainstream education…. “The investment we’ve made has brought an important but neglected building back into use – and will help us meet the growing demand for specialist school places. “This purpose-built site will be run by an established and inspirational special school – Ellesmere College – and will provide much-needed new school places for children with a range of special educational needs.” All the students at Ellesmere College’s Knighton Fields campus will have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) and difficulties with communication and interaction, while many – but not all – will have a diagnosis of autism. Ellesmere College Executive Principal Steph Beale said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the new premises, which have been carefully planned and designed to meet the needs of our students…. Ellesmere College’s Knighton Fields campus is part of the city council’s Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Phase 2 expansion works. The council has committed a further £16.5m [$22M] to expanding its SEND provision over the next two years, with plans already in place to increase capacity at a further eight sites.

Ribbon cutting at new special school


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