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Significant investment proposed for children with SEN and disabilities

03 July 2018

Significant investment in new schools and places for children with special educational needs and disabilities is proposed by Norfolk County Council.

The Council is considering building four new schools and bases at several mainstream schools, in a move that would ensure more children are taught near to their homes.  It would save the Council more than £6m a year in placement costs and reduce spending on transport for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Members of the Council’s children’s services committee will meet on Tuesday, 10 July to discuss the strategy, which has been developed in response to growing demand for special and complex needs school places.

Councillor Penny Carpenter, chairman of the children’s services committee, said:  “Children with special educational needs and disabilities are among our most vulnerable children and we want them to be able to go to good schools, near to their homes and families.

“We know that a big programme of work is needed and we need to look at the best places for new schools and explore how we can finance what will be significant capital investment.

“We want to get this right for Norfolk’s children, ensuring we can get support to children early and reduce demand on our more expensive places, which is putting huge pressure on our schools’ budget.  This is a national issue but it’s something we are determined to address in Norfolk.”

Members of the children’s services committee will be asked to agree plans to explore the feasibility and impact of capital development when they meet next week.

Norfolk County Council has recently invested in two new special schools, Chapel Green in Attleborough and the Fen Rivers Academy, King’s Lynn.  The Council has also created extra places at existing complex needs schools.

The children’s services committee will meet at 10am on Tuesday, 10 July, in the Edwards Room at County Hall.

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