Mill Green Special School will be rebuilt under drive to increase St Helens places (From St Helens Star)
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Mill Green Special School will be rebuilt under drive to increase St Helens places
6:00pm Wednesday 18th September 2013 in News
A NEW school will be at the centre of plans to increase the number of places for children with special needs across St Helens.
Mill Green Special School, currently in Newton-le-Willows, will relocate to the flattened site of the former Parr High school from September next year.
It will be constructed next to the existing Lansbury Bridge special school and see its number of places expand from 77 to 85.
St Helens Council’s cabinet backed the move to create more places to meet the demand for the number of pupils with special educational needs.
Increasing number of children with complex and additional needs has been putting pressures on the education system.
A lack of placements can lead to increased costs for the local authority, which has to send pupils outside the borough. Travelling distances also heap anxiety on parents.
It also means some pupils are left in mainstream schools, when they really need specialist care.
Council documents suggest there were 68 applications for 24 places that were available at Lansbury Bridge last October.
The move was expected to be rubber stamped by full council last night, Wednesday.
Other schools will also gain extra places. Lansbury Bridge is expanding from 170 to 208 places from this month, and a new unit will be developed at Haydock High School to house 25 places for children with moderate learning difficulties.
The new Mill Green site will include multi-sensory areas, water fountains, a games area, an eco zone – including a wildflower meadow, orchard and study shelter – and a horticulture spot.
Councillor Sue Murphy, who oversees education in the town, said: “Over the years, there has been an increasing number of children diagnosed with complex and additional needs.
“By increasing the number of places for special needs children at a number of our good and outstanding St Helens schools, we’re helping to ease pressure on parents and provide better outcomes for children, who otherwise might have to look at out of borough options and longer journeys.”
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