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(UK) W. Devon: $14.1M special school for 100 officially set in motion

SW England Work on a new £10.7 million [$14.1M] school for children with special needs in West Devon will be officially set in motion this week with the ceremonial cutting of the first sod. The new school on the Okehampton East Business Park will cater for up to 100 primary and secondary pupils, aged four to 16, with social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH) including children on the autism spectrum, though they will still have access to mainstream facilities…. ‘We’re excited to get this process underway and continue to expand our family of schools.’… It is part of a £22 million [$29M] programme by Devon County Council to provide 300 extra places for vulnerable children with special needs across the county. That’s on top of the 300 places which have been provided in new special schools in Tiverton and Newton Abbot and by expanding schools in Exeter and North Devon. Presently pupils from the wider Okehampton area who need special education often have to travel to North Devon or Exeter.

Devon County Council’s Cabinet member for schools, Andrew Leadbetter, said: ‘Devon supports a higher than average number of children with special needs in our mainstream schools. But some of the most vulnerable children need to be educated in a special school…. In October, it was reported that the county council had granted the Trust with an extra £1.9 million to fund the building of the school. The news came as over £800,000 was also granted to the ACE Tiverton school in the east of the county….


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