Blackpool to get government funding to build a new school
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The resort has seen an increase in demand for places at special schools in recent years, putting pressure on existing capacity.
Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council cabinet member for inclusion, youth, schools and transience, said: “We are delighted that our bid has been successful for a new special free school.
“Broadening our offer of high quality, bespoke education will allow us to meet the needs of more pupils effectively by educating them in a specialist provision in their home town and reducing the need for long distance travel to a school out of the area.
“There is a significant demand for specialist education for young people with Social Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH) in Blackpool and our special schools are currently at or over capacity.
“The new school will enable our current specialist provisions to support pupils appropriately and help children with the most significant and complex need to thrive in a smaller environment.
“Our aspiration is for all children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to be educated in a good school with facilities that match the quality of the teaching.
“We are constantly seeking to improve the quality of support for all pupils to ensure that every child gets the support they need to succeed.”
Last year planning permission was granted to create temporary additional classroom space at Park School on Whitegate Drive to meet demand for more places at special schools
Additional space has also been created at The Oracle, a former children’s centre on St Annes Road in South Shore, to provide extra capacity for sixth form students from Park School.
It has not yet been revealed where Blackpool’s new school will be.
The list of places set to get new special schools was revealed as part of the Government’s new SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) and AP (additional provision) improvement plan published last week.
Children’s Commissioner for England Dame Rachel de Souza said the plan’s focus on early help “will prevent families from reaching breaking point”, and welcomed additional special school places “so that many more children are able to attend a great school, every day.”