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(UK) Sheffield: New special school, 2 primary schools expand SPED places

April 11, 2024, BBC News: More school places for pupils with special educational needs

N. England

Two primary schools in Sheffield will have additional places for primary school pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) from September.

Sheffield City Council said Woodlands Primary School, at Norton, will have space for 20 SEND pupils while Nether Edge Primary will have 15 places.

The places will be for pupils, aged four to 11, who have extra needs with speech, language and communication.

The council is forecasting demand for another 300 SEND places over the next five years.

Sheffield Council said the additional places would mean more children would be able to attend a school near their homes which would help it cut the cost of transport.

The council said it was facing increasing cost in transporting children with specialist needs to schools.

"Further demand in home to school transport costs are forecast to create a £3.6m [$4.5M] overspend against budgets this year," a council report stated.

“Since the start of the new school year, the overspend has increased due to a further 180 children now requiring transportation to school.

“Sheffield Council is now supporting over 2,365 children with transportation to school.

“This has increased by almost 1,000 children in four years, and demand is forecast to continue to increase.”

Sheffield City Council in partnership with Barnsley Council commissioned a new special school with 200 places last year, giving an additional 100 places for each council.
The school will be built in north Sheffield.

Sheffield’s special schools are at or near capacity, with limited scope for current schools to expand, the council said. 


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