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Plans to increase additional learning needs provision gets public backing

The Council’s Cabinet is to consider a recommendation to go ahead with the planned expansion and adaptation of additional learning needs provision, after public consultation showed broad support for the proposal. 

In order to meet the expected rise in demand, a range of schemes have been put forward, in addition to the proposals to develop additional learning needs provision as part of the council’s prioritised schemes under Band B of its 21stCentury Schools Programme.

Based on the results of the consultation, the following seven schemes are being put to Cabinet, a mix of special schools and specialist resource bases, located within mainstream schools:

Ty Gwyn Special School

  • Increase the number of places to 198
  • Adapt the former Trelai Youth Centre building to provide three extra classrooms

Greenhill School

  • Increase the leaving age for pupils from 16 to 19, becoming a school for 11 to 19 year olds
  • Increase the school’s capacity to provide 64 places

Meadowbank Special School

  • Adapt the designation of the school to: ‘speech language and communication needsandcomplex learning disabilities’ – the school’s current designation is for ‘specific language impairments’. 

Allensbank Primary School

  • Open an eight place early intervention class in September 2019, for children with speech and language needs, and phase out the special resource base at the school by July 2020 at the latest

St Mary the Virgin Church in Wales School

  • Create a twenty place special resource base

Ysgol Pwll Coch

  • Open a special resource base, initially providing up to 10 places, but with the option of increasing this to 20 places in future

Ysgol Glantaf

  • Increase the number of places in its special resource base to 30
  • Extend and improve the base’s current accommodation

Commenting on the proposals, Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said:

“I welcome the broad support for the schemes we have put forward for consultation. There has been a significant growth in the number of young people with additional learning needs in Cardiff since 2012, as the city’s population has increased. This trend is expected to continue for the next five to 10 years, which it why it is so important for us to introduce these schemes, followed by implementation of the additional provision under Band B of the 21stCentury Schools programme.

“It’s our aim to encourage as many children and young people with additional learning needs as possible to go to their local school, and over 90 percent are using mainstream education. For those with more complex needs, we have funded an additional 103 special school and specialist resource base places in Cardiff during the last five years.

“Through these proposed schemes, and the next phase of our 21st Century Schools programme, we will significantly expand this provision further.”

The consultation also included proposals to expand the Hollies Special School. However, due to concerns raised through the consultation, this plan is not included in the list of schemes being recommended to Cabinet. Further plans will be developed to meet this area of need.

Cabinet will meet on Thursday, April 19 to consider the recommendation to progress the seven schemes. A copy of the Cabinet report, containing full details of the proposals and an appraisal of views put forward through the consultation, is available to view online at www.cardiff.gov.uk/meetings