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(UK) 'Norfolk needs at least seven new special schools to get close to meeting demand'

Oct 4, 2022, Eastern Daily Express: Delay in opening special education places criticized https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/education/special-educational-needs-norfolk-schools-9307624

E. England County Hall leaders have been criticised for not delivering special schools promised four years ago.

Labour councillor Maxine Webb queried why a fourth school for children with special education needs (SEND) had not been created years after it was promised.

At a Norfolk County Council meeting on Monday, she asked how long families would have to wait.

John Fisher, cabinet member for children's services, said the authority had already built two schools with a third set to open in spring 2023.

He promised he was committed to securing more SEND provision with bids being submitted for a fourth and fifth school this month.

"We are looking at a fourth school, the big problem is identifying sites and we have been working on the site for the fourth school for 12 months trying to negotiate a settlement," he said.

Speaking after the meeting, Ms Webb said: "[Council] officers have told me Norfolk needs at least seven new special schools

but the cabinet member didn’t seem sure what we need."