Council needs to borrow over £15m for new Dudley school

Dudley Council will have to borrow the cash to construct a new £15 million school for pupils with special learning needs.

Artist's impression of the proposed school
Artist's impression of the proposed school

Education bosses in Dudley said the proposals to replace the existing Pens Meadow Special School will transform children's lives.

The planning application was approved last July for the new facility to be built on the site of the former Pensnett High School, in Tiled House Lane, Pensnett, instead.

A new report will go before the council’s cabinet next week seeking the green light to borrow £15.6m to pay for the new state-of-the-art complex which education bosses said would “transform” the lives of pupils.

Children's services chief Councillor Ruth Buttery said: "I am really excited by this opportunity to have a very significant impact on the lives of our children.

"The current school is not fit for purpose and teaching children carries many challenges with the current state of the building. Classrooms are unsuitable and access to the site is difficult, and we have identified it as a priority for us to do something about it.

"We are a child-friendly Dudley and that means putting children at the top of the list as much as we can. This new school will do exactly that by providing a ground-breaking complex that will provide the very best facilities.

It will replace the existing Pens Meadow Special School, in Ridge Hill, Brierley Hill Road, Wordsley, which already provides education for pupils with complex needs, including autism and pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties across two sites.

The new complex will be the latest big investment in children in the borough providing education for 155 children and young people aged three to 19-years-old.

Pens Meadow head Marie Hunter added: "This is a fantastic opportunity to ensure our pupils have a purpose-built environment in which we can better deliver high quality provision working towards education health and care outcomes.

"We all really welcome this and look forward to starting work on a new chapter for the school. This is very welcome news for everyone her at school and in the Pens Meadow Community."

The new school would also provide state of the art equipment, therapy rooms, a hydrotherapy pool, changing facilities, outdoor teaching and play areas, community group facilities, and 14 bespoke classrooms specifically designed to cater to children with additional needs.

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