Portsmouth News

Bid to create 40 new SEND places to get green light


A bid to expand the special educationa­l needs support at a Fareham school and one other in Hampshire to create 40 new places is set to get the green light.

The proposal follows Hampshire County Council’s aim to reduce the cost of SEN placements. On average, an independen­t and nonmaintai­ned special school place costs £61,200 per child.

The demand for special educationa­l needs and disability (SEND) school provision in the Hampshire local authority increases yearly.

As of January 2024, the number of maintained education, health and care plans (EHCPS) was 16,065. By 203031, Hampshire is forecast to have around 28,000 pupils with an EHCP if unmitigate­d.

Due to the lack of provision in Hampshire schools to place these children, the county council has increased placement within the independen­t nonmaintai­ned sector.

However, this option is more expensive, costing £61,200 per child, compared to placing a child in a community special school, which is £19,766.

To meet the demand for special school places and resource provision, the county council has proposed creating 40 new places in Fareham and Bordon. Heathfield Special School in Fareham would be expanded by up to 20 places for children and young people with moderate learning difficulti­es and severe learning difficulti­es.

The school’s pupil number will increase from 170 to 190 from September.

The proposal also included refurbishi­ng two classrooms, improving adjacent areas and relocating the teachers’ planning spaces. These changes will accommodat­e the extra places.

The other 20 additional places would be added to Hollywater School in Bordon for children and young people aged four to 19 with SLD.

Hollywater School provides specialist support for pupils who have moderate and severe needs.

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Picture: Google
Heathfield School in Fareham Picture: Google
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