More children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) will be supported in mainstream education in Wolverhampton after councillors agreed to the opening of another resource base in the city.

The specialist resource centres, of which there are already 13 in early years settings and primary and secondary schools in Wolverhampton, provide targeted support to help pupils make progress, achieve their identified outcomes and access mainstream education.

Members of the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet have approved proposals to establish a 14th resource base, which will be located at Stow Heath Primary School.

Councillor Chris Burden, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Work, said: "The development of resource hubs at schools across the city is a tremendously important part of our efforts to ensure that children and young people with SEND receive the help and support they need to achieve.

"They provide pupils with SEND with the specialist support they need, such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy or music therapy as appropriate, while the mainstream schools they are attached to receive additional funding from the council to enable them to offer provision that caters for specific types of special educational needs.

"It means children with SEND are able to go to a mainstream school with their siblings and friends, but still get the best quality interventions and education, and pupils within mainstream education can socialise with SEND students, ensuring they become much more rounded and understanding citizens of our city. 

"This brings us together as one community, rather than 2 separate ones. I’m really passionate about this project as it will be able to deliver the highest quality resource, in a school well prepared to run it effectively."

Headteacher Lisa Scoffham said: "The school and the Governing Body have been involved heavily in ongoing discussions to ensure the proposals meet with the needs of the school and children and families in the area as part of the planned new build at Stow Heath Primary."

The number of primary age pupils in Wolverhampton with an education, health and care plan (EHCP) or statement identifying a primary need of social emotional and mental health has increased over the last few years, and around 11% of primary aged pupils in Wolverhampton with EHCPs are currently placed in out of city or independent provision.

Councillor Burden added: "By creating this network of resource hubs, we are broadening the range of provision for children with SEND in Wolverhampton, bridging the gap between special and mainstream schools, offering greater choice for parents and enabling children with more complex needs to be educated alongside their mainstream peers."