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(UK) Somerset: Expansion of 2 special schools; schools at "full capacity"

Aug 17, 2020, Somerset Live: Two specialist schools in Yeovil to expand as Somerset County Council approves plans https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/somerset-news/two-specialist-schools-yeovil-expand-4432702 Two specialist schools in Yeovil will be able to expand after plans for new facilities were approved by Somerset County Council. Fairmead School on the A359 Mudford Road and Fiveways School on Victoria Road both provide education and support for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). With both schools operating at full capacity, plans to expand both sites were submitted to the county council, which is responsible for local education. These plans have now been approved, with construction expected to commence in the coming months. The plans were approved at two separate meetings of the council's regulation committee, which makes decisions on planning applications relating to schools, quarries and other strategically important assets. Under the agreed proposals, a new two-storey block will be built at Fairmead to provide 12 additional classrooms - replacing an existing "poor quality" temporary teaching building.
The extension will also include a new hall, "life skills room" and sensory rooms, along with an extended staff room and more parking on site.
This extension will allow for a further 48 pupils to be accommodated on-site, with a further 15 members of staff.
At Fiveways, five new classrooms will be built, providing teaching space for an additional 24 pupils and resulting in more staff being recruited.
The upgrade will also include new "sensory and shared group rooms", with new toilet facilities being provided on-site along with an expanded staff room and more car parking spaces.

Fiveways Schools proposed new courtyard design(Image: Daniel Mumby)
Planning officer Judith Smallman said the council had a duty to ensure SEND pupils received the best possible education that could be provided in Somerset.
She said: "The demand for special educational needs places is significant and resources to meet this are very limited.
"It is important that pupils with identified learning difficulties are in a safe and secure environment, where they can receive the kind of care and attention they would not be able to receive at standard schools.
"These schools provide a critical service within the county in providing specialist educational facilities to a number of pupils with learning difficulties."...


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