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(UK) Likely new $29M Welsh autism school; 'we’ve come a long way in the diagnosis'

Sept 19, 2023, Free Press: Location for new autism school in Denbigh could get the go-ahead https://www.denbighshirefreepress.co.uk/news/23798130.location-new-autism-school-denbigh-get-go-ahead/

Wales

Denbighshire’s cabinet are due to meet today (Tuesday) to discuss Ysgol Plas Brondyffryn, which looks likely to be built on a site on Ystrad Road on a field next to Denbigh Leisure centre, currently used by Denbigh High School.

If agreed, the purpose-built school will be for children with autism aged three to 19.

The school currently teaches at three separate sites, including its main Park Street building, but it is currently oversubscribed, and the plan is to centralise.

Earlier this year, Ysgol Plas Brondyffryn reported it had 136 children but only had provision for 116 – with another 72 on the waiting list….

The council anticipate the school will cost around £23.8m [$29M] with 75% of the capital funding being provided by the Welsh Government.

But cabinet members have been warned that stalling the project could result in growing pressures relating to pupil numbers at the school and rising costs if students have to be placed out of county.

Costs of such provision would vary dependent on pupils’ individual needs, ranging from £30,00 [$37,000] per year to £280,000, [$345,000] the financing of which would fall on the council’s education department.

Earlier this year, Denbighshire's deputy leader Cllr Gill German spoke in favour of the plans.

“It is safe to say we’ve come a long way in the diagnosis and the understanding of the needs of children on the autistic spectrum in recent years.

“I have been in many classrooms where I’ve seen mainstream is not working for some children.

“We know that need is out there. We know we need to meet the needs of children in a place that best suits them, so looking to increase capacity is the right thing to do.”


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