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(UK) N Somerset: More kids with "high needs"; school is 'bursting at seams'

Dec 31, 2019, Weston Mercury: Special school 'bursting at seams' due to increasing demand The headteacher, of a special school in desperate need of expansion, is appealing for people to support the proposal to help children with the highest care needs in North Somerset. Baytree School, in Locking Castle, is 'bursting at the seams' and in desperate need of expansion due to the growing demand for places. The school needs to expand to enable it to accommodate the increasing number of children with highly complex physical needs and learning difficulties…. Headteacher Ed Bowen-Roberts is appealing for people to recognise the dire need for additional places to ensure children with the greatest special educational needs are able to attend a school close to their home…. "Funding young people out of county has significant cost implications, which means the high needs block overspend increases and that has to be topped up with money that should be given to mainstream schools." Baytree School, in Highlands Lane, is the only school in North Somerset designated to provide education to children with severe and profound learning difficulties. The school building can longer meet the increasing needs of students who need a variety of equipment…. Mr Bowen-Roberts said: "The need for the expansion is great. It was needed last year…. More: Schools under 'incredible pressure' due to rise in pupils with high needs…. "We shouldn't have to send young people out of county. It results in longer journey times and young people also missing out on the local offer. The school predicts 14 children will need spaces at the school in 2021, but it will only be able to take on three. The cost of educating children outside the district can be in excess of £100,000 [$130K US] per year.


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