This is how much it costs Blackpool Council to send 137 children out of town for specialist education

Artist's impression of the Lotus School
Artist's impression of the Lotus School
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This is how much it costs Blackpool Council to send 137 children out of town for specialist education

The total includes £3.7m in education costs, but is pushed up to more than £5m when transport and social care expenses are taken into account.

The figures were revealed as part of an update on the provision of services for children in the town with special educational needs (SEND.)

Members of the council's Resilient Communities and Children's Scrutiny Committee were told a new school, due to open on Langdale Road, Mereside, in September next year, will help ease the pressure.

It will provide 48 school places meaning children will be able to attend lessons closer to home, as well as reducing the cost to the council.

Each child's education costs between around £45,000 and £60,000 a year which comes from the designated schools grant.

Currently Blackpool is one of the only local authorities in the country without its own SEN provision.

Children with the most complex needs will still have to attend schools outside the borough.

Coun David O'Hara told the meeting: "It is better to have children educated as close to home as possible, but there will be circumstances where that won't be possible.

"It's not about the money, it's about the best education for the child and in my opinion, that's best as close to home as possible."

The new school, which will be called the Lotus School and is being funded through the Department for Education, will provide specialist education for children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs.