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12 March 2019, 10:21 | Updated: 12 March 2019, 10:23
Money for a new school for children with special educational needs has been approved for Leicestershire.
The Department for Education says it will fund the building of the 50 place school for children with social, emotional and mental health needs at the Iveshed campus in Shepshed.
Leicestershire County Council bid for the government cash.
The news comes as part of a wider announcement from the Government announcing plans to create around 3,500 new school places nationally for children with special educational needs, or those facing additional challenges in mainstream education.
Ivan Ould, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for children and families, said: "This is fantastic news. We are delighted that the Department for Education is supporting the building of this school which will be of great benefit to children and families in Leicestershire.
"We are committed to ensuring SEND provision is available to families across the county, both in the form of special schools and in mainstream education, and as close to their homes as possible.
The school is the only one to be awarded funding in the latest round in the East Midlands and is part of the council's broader plans to invest up to £30m in developing new provision for children and young people with special educational needs (SEND) in Leicestershire.
The county council is currently running a consultation on its plans, which include:
- Expanding its special schools
- Creating up to 15 new SEND 'units', or 'enhanced resource bases' in mainstream schools
- Building four new special schools: two for social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH), to include the new school in Shepshed, and one for communication and interaction needs (this includes autistic spectrum disorder - ASD) to be located in Barwell. Longer term there is potential to also build a new 125 place area special school (this is subject to future need and housing growth)
- Creating more places in its existing enhanced resource bases
The consultation is asking for views on how the new provision should look and feel. In the spring more information will be available on the type and proposed location of the provisions - you can have your say by visiting: www.leicestershire.gov.uk/send-consultation
The council's ruling cabinet will consider the responses to the consultation when it meets in the summer.