New school will 'improve the lives' of children

Plans have been submitted for a new special school that will "improve the lives" of children for years to come.

An artist's impression of the aerial view of the proposed school site
An artist's impression of the aerial view of the proposed school site

The school is planned to take over the site of Pens Meadow Special School in Wordsley, Dudley, which provides education for youngsters with complex needs, autism and learning difficulties.

Dudley Council wants to expand provision at the school, enabling it to provide education for 115 children and young people aged three to 19.

The plans include an independent living block with catering facilities, outdoor sports pitches and 14 classrooms, split evenly between primary and secondary.

There will also be therapy rooms, two large outside courtyards and specialist facilities including a hydrotherapy pool.

A design and access statement accompanying the scheme says the current building, at Ridge Hill, off Brierley Hill Road, requires investment and new facilities.

It says the site is not owned by Dudley Council and is subject to a leased agreement. The statement adds: "Split over two sites the school does not have the necessary environment required to provide the very best specialist provision the school endeavour to offer.

"This proposed development provides plans for a new purpose-built school bringing the two sites together which will provide education for children aged between three and 19.

"The aim is to construct an outstanding school fit for the 21st century, creating an environment that will provide the very best support for children and families for generations."

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said the current school needed "significant investment", and that it was being stopped from meeting its full potential because it was split over two sites.

He said: "If approved, this new building would be so much more than bricks and mortar – it has the potential to improve the lives of children and young people for many years to come."

Councillor Harley said that the current school site will remain in use until the proposed new campus is operational. "We will do all we can to support children and young people through the transition," he added.

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