Express & Star

New classrooms to meet special school demand

Two temporary classrooms are to be installed at a special education needs (SEND) school in Wolverhampton to meet a rise in demand for pupil places.

Broadmeadow Special School in Lansdowne Road, West Park, Wolverhampton

Broadmeadow Special School in Lansdowne Road, West Park, has increased pupil places from 54 to 75.

The school caters for SEND children aged 3-11, including those with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), severe learning difficulties and physical disabilities.

Planning bosses gave the go-ahead for the additional accommodation this week, along with a temporary car park on the adjacent West Park Primary School’s playing field.

Both proposals were approved by cabinet in December.

The move is a temporary solution whilst an alternative location is sought to build a new school once capacity goes beyond 75 pupils in line with demand.

The estimated cost of the work is £800,000.

In a statement submitted alongside the application, made by headteacher Lisa Walker on behalf of the Central Learning Partnership Trust, agents Astley Partnership said: “It was identified that a number of years would be required to see this happen and that temporary provision is required to give the current pupils the space and access to special education their complex needs require.

“The two new buildings, supplied by Portakabin, will provide temporary staff space as well as a sensory room, soft play gym, science and art room and office. The school also utilises the ground floor and outdoor play area of the adjacent Whitmore Reans Supporting Families Centre for its youngest pupils.”

Park ward councillor Claire Darke said: “This expansion will increase the number of school places at Broadmeadow Special School, enabling them to  provide good quality education to more children by meeting the high demand for places.”

Councillor Chris Burden, cabinet member for education and skills, added: “Broadmeadow is an academy special school in the city that in 2019 was rated good by Ofsted. It originally provided 54 places to students in the city but that has recently increased to 75 to meet the demand that we have.”

The council’s head of planning Stephen Alexander said: “The proposal will benefit the education of children in Wolverhampton. This outweighs the temporary appearance of the building and the temporary loss of a small corner of the grounds at the adjacent school.”

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