PLANS to expand a special school in Ebbw Vale will be considered by a Blaenau Gwent scrutiny committee next week.
The plans to increase the capacity of
Plans to expand a special school in Ebbw Vale will be considered by a Blaenau Gwent scrutiny committee next week.
The plans to increase the capacity of Pen y Cwm Special School from 120 to 175 places could be implemented in September.
Under the proposal, the council will remodel the existing learning environment to create more classroom spaces and facilities including toilets.
Specific works could include relocating the post-16 area, relocating the office space, creating two primary classrooms, create an additional secondary classroom and redevelopment the science and technology room.
The council would also develop a long-term plan to increase capacity to meet future demand.
A report on the proposal says:
“Should nothing change, the local authority will be unable to meet the needs of all learners particularly those with profound and multiple learning difficulties within Blaenau Gwent.
“Therefore, they would need to be placed out of the county at significant additional cost, outside of their community and with increased travel time.”
Currently, the council has 20 additional learning needs pupils that are educated out of the local authority area, costing £896,000.
The report also says that:
“If Pen y Cwm Special School was able to increase capacity, there would be opportunities to consider making education provision for some of the 20 pupils back in Blaenau Gwent”.
The expansion could cost around £250,000, which would be met by the capital maintenance grant and the Welsh Government’s additional learning needs grant funding.
The report says the school population has grown by almost 30 per cent since relocating to a new building in November 2012.
“As a result, there is no flexible space and each of the specialist areas (including the specialist rooms for Secondary age teaching and learning) have had to be reconfigured to facilitate general teaching spaces for additional pupils.”