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(UK) Northampton: $1.4M unit for 50 students with 'significant difficulties associated with autism'

Jan 28, 2023, Northampton Chronicle: Designs for a £1.1m [$1.4M] special needs unit at a Northampton school have been revealed Greatest demand for specialist places is Northampton – say WNC

Central England

Designs have been unveiled for a new £1.1m [$1.4M] special needs unit in Northampton that could be built alongside a primary school as part of a council plan.

Hunsbury Park Primary School’s two-form entry has been cut to 1.5-form entry to allow for the new school building that will accommodate an additional 50 children who have “significant difficulties associated with autism”.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) said there is a clear need for a new unit and it has exceeded its own current specialist provision within the area….

The council said in May, when the plan for the school was first agreed, that the greatest demand for specialist places was in Northampton. The planning document states that in January 2020, WNC had 174 pupils in an independent special setting.

Currently, the primary school employs 48 full-time and 21 part-time staff. Once building work has been completed, it is expected it will employ 61 full-time and 24 part-time staff. WNC’s cabinet agreed to build a new £23m [$28M] special needs school in Tiffield – borrowing £10m[$12M] to fund it – in September.

It said at the time that estimated building costs and money needed would be subject to construction cost inflation, which it said could be as much as 14% a year. The school is expected to open in September 2024.

What the specialist unit at the primary school could look like

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