Plans for ex­pan­sion of city’s spe­cial schools

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

A HUGE ex­pan­sion of Cardiff’s school fa­cil­i­ties for pupils with ad­di­tional learn­ing needs could go ahead if ap­proved this week.

Cardiff coun­cil’s cab­i­net will de­cide whether to go ahead with the planned ex­pan­sion and adap­ta­tion of ad­di­tional learn­ing needs pro­vi­sion to meet the ex­pected rise in de­mand.

Seven schemes have been put for­ward which in­clude a mix of spe­cial schools and spe­cial­ist re­source bases, which pro­vide tar­geted help for chil­dren most in need, lo­cated within main­stream schools.

The mea­sures would see the num­ber of places at Ty Gwyn Spe­cial School in­creased to 198 with the adap­ta­tion of the for­mer Tre­lai Youth Cen­tre build­ing to pro­vide three ex­tra class­rooms. It would also see an in­crease in the leav­ing age for pupils from 16 to 19.

The changes, if ap­proved, would also see Mead­ow­bank Spe­cial School des­ig­nated as suit­able for speech lan­guage and com­mu­ni­ca­tion needs and com­plex learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties.

The school’s cur­rent des­ig­na­tion is for spe­cific lan­guage im­pair­ments.

At Al­lens­bank Pri­mary School, there would be a new eight-place early in­ter­ven­tion class in Septem­ber 2019 for chil­dren with speech and lan­guage needs and the spe­cial re­source base at the school would be phased out by July 2020 at the lat­est.

The changes would also see a 20-place spe­cial re­source base set up at St Mary the Vir­gin Church in Wales School while Ys­gol Pwll Coch would also open a spe­cial re­source base, ini­tially pro­vid­ing up to 10 places, but with the op­tion of in­creas­ing this to 20 places in fu­ture.

At Ys­gol Glantaf the num­ber of places in its spe­cial re­source base would rise to 30.

Coun­cil­lor Sarah Merry, cab­i­net mem­ber for ed­u­ca­tion, said: “I wel­come the broad sup­port for the schemes we have put for­ward for con­sul­ta­tion. There has been a sig­nif­i­cant growth in the num­ber of young peo­ple with ad­di­tional learn­ing needs in Cardiff since 2012 as the city’s pop­u­la­tion has in­creased.

“It’s our aim to en­cour­age as many chil­dren and young peo­ple with ad­di­tional learn­ing needs as pos­si­ble to go to their lo­cal school and over 90% are us­ing main­stream ed­u­ca­tion.

“For those with more com­plex needs we have funded an ad­di­tional 103 spe­cial school and spe­cial­ist re­source base places in Cardiff dur­ing the last five years.”

Plans to ex­pand the Hol­lies Spe­cial School have not been put for­ward af­ter con­cerns were raised dur­ing the con­sul­ta­tion. Fur­ther plans will be de­vel­oped to meet this area of need.

Cab­i­net will meet on Thurs­day to con­sider the rec­om­men­da­tion to progress the seven schemes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.