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Oct 25, 2023, Notts TV: Work begins to create more school spaces for children with special needs in Nottingham
Work has started to create more school spaces in Nottingham for children with special educational needs after the number of pupils needing support for conditions such as autism rose by more than 100 per cent.
Figures published in September revealed the number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder had increased by 103 per cent since 2017, from 317 children to 642 in 2022.
Similarly the number of children needing support for Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) increased by 146 per cent from 70 children to 172 children.

Due to the increasing demand Nottingham City Council said almost all specialist school places are now full.

“There is an urgent, significant and increasing need for additional capacity for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities both within mainstream and special schools,” delegated decision documents say.

To help, the Department for Education (DfE) announced funding for new spaces, and the council has been given £17.963m [$22M] to cover a period between 2021 and 2024….

Rosehill Special School will be expanded onto an additional site to increase capacity by approximately 80 places for children and young people with autism and other complex learning needs, and £200,000 [$240K] has been allocated to pay for initial works.

A further £200,000 [$240K] will go towards similar design work at Wollaton’s Fernwood School, where 20 extra secondary places will be created, as well as Nottingham Girls Academy for 12 to 15 extra secondary places.

Glade Hill Primary and Nursery School, in Bestwood Park, will receive £100,000 [$120K] for initial work to pave the way for eight additional primary spaces.

Similarly £100,000 [$120K] will go towards Clifton’s Milford Academy where there are plans to create eight extra spaces as well as Rise Park Primary and Nursery School….

The number of spaces at the Rise Park school have not yet been specified.

“The specialist provision is to create additional capacity for the school to meet the needs of children and young people with autism and other complex learning needs in their local area,” documents add….

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