Support for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities set to be improved
Proposals to improve support for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) will be considered by councillors later this week.
At its meeting on Thursday 2 March, councillors will be asked to approve two proposals that will improve SEND provision in South Ribble, where the number of requests for Education, Health and Care Needs assessments is continuing to rise as well as demand for specialist provision.
The first of these relates to the development of an SEN unit attached to St Anne's Catholic Primary School, Leyland and the second to the further expansion of Applebee Wood Community Specialist school, Lostock Hall.
St Anne's Catholic Primary School is a mainstream primary school and it is proposed to create an SEN unit for 16 pupils with generic learning difficulties within the school building, with little if any additional building works. Cabinet will be asked to approve the initiation of a feasibility study and the informal consultation process related to the proposed works.
The second proposal relates to the further expansion of Applebee Wood Community Specialist school, a special school for children with generic learning difficulties. Cabinet gave final approval in September 2022 to increase the number of special school places from 127 to 147. This latest expansion proposed to increase this further to 167.
The school, which has been identified by the Department for Education's Schools Rebuilding Programme, has already obtained planning permission for a further extension to the school to create the additional teaching space and intend to fund this second expansion in its entirety. Councillors will be asked to approve the initiation of the informal consultation process to increase the number of special school places at the school from 147 to 167.
Cllr Jayne Rear, cabinet member for education and skills at Lancashire County Council, said: "These proposals are part of a wider strategy to improve SEND provision across the county, in the areas that need it most.
"We know that SEND provision in the south of the county needs strengthening and these latest proposals will do just that."