Lancashire County Council has agreed to increase the number of school places for kids with special needs and disabilities.
The county council is investing an additional £10m to support children with special educational needs by offering more than 200 additional special school places over the next five years.
County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said, “One of our key responsibilities at the county council is making sure that there are enough school places to meet demand.
“It is important that children with special educational needs and disabilities are able to have the most appropriate school place, and we are fully committed to achieving this.
“The reality is that we are facing an increasing demand for places. In this context the actions that we have agreed to take will go some way towards addressing the need for more special school places in certain parts of the county, and maximise the resources that we have available.
“Our commitment to providing the best possible educational experience to all of our young people will always underpin the decisions that are taken.”
At the meeting held today (Thursday 16 January), the main recommendations agreed by Cabinet were to:
• Approve, for wider consultation, the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Sufficiency Strategy 2019 – 2024, which sets out a range of medium and longer term actions
• Approve the commencement of feasibility design work for two proposed capital projects for Broadfield Specialist College, Oswaldtwistle, and Sir Tom Finney Community High School, Preston
• Approve the commencement of an informal process for seeking expressions of interest from mainstream schools to support the development of special educational needs units in localities in need of additionally resourced mainstream provision
• Approve the commencement of feasibility design work for the projects at Stepping Stones Short Stay School, Lancaster and on The Haven site, Thornton – Cleveleys, in line with statutory processes
• To implement the proposals identified within these recommendations where they are consistent with the report presented to cabinet in August 2019 and the Sufficiency Strategy.