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(UK) Wales: Council to approve 20 place autism school to meet 'increasing demand'

Mar 22, 2023, S. Wales Argus: Newport Council wants autism unit for Llanwern High School

PLANS for a new school unit for pupils with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) are set to move forward this week.

Newport City Council is expected to approve a proposal "to establish a 20-place specialist base for pupils" with ASD, at Llanwern High School in the east of the city.

If no legal challenges to the plans are received, the new unit will open in September, at the start of the next school year.

The council said there was an "increasing demand for specialist education places" in Newport and that demand is "higher than the current provision available"….

The new ASD unit, if opened, would be in a “secure, separate area of the school building” with its own entrance.

A public consultation was launched last winter, and after reviewing the responses the council said it “maintains the view that the proposal represents the best and most achievable solution to the local pressure for specialist education placements for pupils” with ASD.

Of the nearly 100 responses to the consultation, around three-quarters “supported” the proposal for the new unit at Llanwern High and 21 per cent did not support the council’s plans….

Once established, the ASD unit will cost around £435,000 [$532K] to run each year, but the council believes it could also save some money because fewer Newport children will need expensive out-of-county schooling.

The city council’s cabinet member for education and early years is due to make a decision on the plans this week.


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