OVER 90 new school places for pupils with special educational needs were approved by Bradford Council this morning.

The Council's Executive agreed to a number of proposals to create space for young people with special educational needs and development (SEND).

At a meeting in City Hall members approved:

  • An increase the number of maintained special school places provided by Beechcliffe School in Keighley by 80, with places delivered on a split site - some will be at the former Ella Carr pupil referral unit, which will now be a specialist SEND school.
  • Fagley Primary School will have 12 new Resourced Provision places
  • 10 Early Years Enhanced Specialist Provision places will be re-located from Abbey Green Nursery School to Midland Road Nursery School.

Members were told that it would help reduce the number of SEND pupils who have to be accommodated in schools outside the Bradford District.

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A report to the Executive said Bradford had seen a "significant increase" in demand for SEND provision in the last 10 years.

The report said many pupils attending Ella Carr PRU are SEND pupils, and the plan is for this facilit to be run by Beechcliffe as a specialist SEND school. There would be "very little impact" for SEND pupils already attending this facility - members of the Executive were told.

On the Fagley Primary places, the report said: "There is currently no specialist provision for primary aged children with communication and interaction needs including Autistic Spectrum Disorders in the East Constituency. The new provision will operate out of the newly configured Children’s Centre  accommodation, located on the main school site.

"Children’s Centre Services will also continue to operate on the site."

The meeting heard that nation wide there had been an increase in children being diagnosed with special educational needs. In Bradford around 600 extra SEND places had been created in recent years.

Councillor Imran Khan, Executive for Education, Employment and Skills, said: "We need to make sure we are putting these places in the areas they are needed the most."

Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe said:" It is good that fewer children will have to go out of the district for a school place. It makes life much easier for parents and families."