Plans to create over 60 new school places for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are set to be considered by councillors tomorrow.

Additional places are needed in both special schools and resource bases in mainstream schools across Wolverhampton to meet current and future demand.

The City of Wolverhampton Council is proposing to increase capacity at Westcroft and Green Park special schools and at the resource base at Palmers Cross Primary School, as well as creating a new resource base, which would be the third at a mainstream secondary school in the city, at Ormiston NEW Academy. 

Councillor Jacqui Coogan, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education, said: "As a council, we are determined to ensure that all our children live in an inclusive city and are able to achieve their full potential through education – and this includes providing environments that can appropriately meet their needs. 

"To meet rising demand for SEND provision across the city, we want to deliver a combination of additional places in special schools, alongside the expansion of one of our existing primary school resources bases and the creation of a third base in a secondary school."

Demand for specialist school places has risen significantly in recent years, with the number of children with Education, Health and Care Plans rising by nearly 50% in the last five years.

In response, the council is proposing to increase capacity at Westcroft School, a special school for pupils aged 5 to 19, from 198 places to 210, and at Green Park School, a special school in Bilston for pupils aged 3 to 19, from 147 places to 174.

Meanwhile, the proposals will also see the capacity of the existing Speech, Language and Communication resource base at Palmers Cross Primary School increase from 16 places to 30, and the establishment of a resource base at Ormiston NEW Academy to cater for 10 pupils, also with speech, language and communication needs.

The plans are due to go before members of the council's Cabinet tomorrow (Wednesday 10 July, 2024).