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(UK) Oldham autism school get expansion; huge increase in students

Aug 21, 2019, Oldham Evening Chronicle: Second expansion agreed for special school in Oldham http://oldham-chronicle.co.uk/news-features/139/main-news/129852/second-expansion-agreed-for-special-school-in-oldham Town hall bosses have agreed the second expansion in six months of a school for children with autism to meet ‘significant pressure’ for places. Oldham’s cabinet has agreed to spend £300,000 [$363,000] from the basic needs funding pot to increase the number of classrooms at Hollinwood Academy on Roman Road. When it opened in 2015 the school was originally expected to cater for around 50 pupils, but officers predict that by this September there will be more than four times that, with 215 attending the school. The ‘bespoke’ school was designed to offer ‘state-of-the-art specialist provision’ for pupils aged four to 19 who have autism or social communication needs. The latest investment comes on top of £390,000 which was signed off in February for four new classrooms. With the new funding, in total eight new classrooms will be provided at the academy. According to the report by Andy Collinge, head of school support services, the additional increased pressure on places is a result of parental choice and also an increase in the number of education, health and care plans (EHCPs) where the school is named as the preferred provider. …