(UK) Melton adds 25 SPED places ($26M US); "communication/interaction needs"

Mar 21, 2019, Melton Times: Plans to take in 25 extra students at Melton’s Birch Wood Area Special School Places for 25 extra students will be made available at Melton’s Birch Wood Area Special School if councillors approve new proposals next week. The Grange Drive school, which teaches more than 160 children, is one of five special schools Leicestershire County Council wants to expand. It is part of a £20million [$26M US dollars] package of investment in children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) throughout the county. The authority has also identified schools which could house 15 new bases for SEND youngsters and members will consider the plans at a cabinet meeting on Friday March 29. Birch Wood would be extended to provide space for 10 new pupils and existing space will be refurbished to enable 15 more children to be taught there. The new pupils would have communication and interaction needs (C & I) and they would start school there in September next year. Ivan Ould, cabinet member for children and families at County Hall, said: “We are pleased that we are moving forward with these ambitious plans. …. “However, we need to significantly increase provision to accommodate the increase in demand. … It will be able to take in 15 youngsters with social, emotional and mental health needs this coming September if councillors approve the refurbishment of existing space at the school. Parents in the process of securing a specialist placement for their child, subject to an education, care and health plan (EHCP) being in place, are being advised to consider the new SEND resource bases proposed.