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EXTRA support will be available from September for secondary school students with autism at Whitmore High School in Barry.

The specialist resource base will have a phased opening, with help for 10 pupils this September, increasing to 20 from September next year.

The new £31 million Whitmore High School is due to open later this year, with space for 1,100 pupils including a sixth form. The resource base would be a separate area within the new school building, including small classrooms, breakout spaces, a sensory room, accessible toilets, and work skills area with a kitchen.

A specialist resource base at the high school will reduce demand on Ysgol Y Deri, the special school in Penarth; and also cater for pupils who might not meet the criteria for a place at Ysgol Y Deri.

Other plans to improve special education in the Vale of Glamorgan include expanding Ysgol Y Deri with a new school building; and a specialist resource base at Gladstone Primary School in Barry.

After a positive response in a public consultation, the council’s cabinet agreed to open the specialist resource base this September.

Councillor Lis Burnett, the cabinet member for education, said:

“This proposal forms part of the council’s strategy to transform special education in the Vale of Glamorgan to meet projected future demand and better meet the needs of our most vulnerable learners.

“This proposal has been developed to ensure the council can best meet the needs of learners with autism spectrum condition.

“Back in October last year, the council consulted on a proposal to establish a specialist resource base at Whitmore High School. The base would provide additional support for up to 20 pupils with autism spectrum condition.

“Much has been learned over the past years in how young people with autism spectrum condition can be supported and participate fully in learning with their peers if that support is appropriate and adequate.”


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