Warwickshire County Council’s Cabinet has approved the addition of £1.92 million to the Education (Schools) Capital Programme 2019/20.
This addition to the programme will deliver a range of improvements, including special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) support, to existing schools which will help to support the growing population of the county and to boost provision in county, reducing the need for young people to receive education outside.
Since 2015, secondary school numbers have grown considerably, which has seen a housing demand in the county and a rise in the number of children with special educational needs.
The money received will be allocated between a number of existing schools around the county. In Nuneaton and Bedworth, Exhall Grange School and Science College will receive a further £360,000 following their initial funding in July 2018 to create 44 additional places for learners with SEND. The extra funding will allow for the refurbishment of an existing building on the site which will allow the relocation of the Learning Pod, currently in Coleshill, onto the main school site.
In North Warwickshire, The Coleshill School will receive £1.06 million to expand the school with a new classroom block to support the increased pupil rate, allowing for an additional 150 places across the school over the course of five years (30 per year).
The new classroom block will be a three storey building, with a ground floor dining facility and associated outdoor landscaping.
In South Leamington, plans for a new all through school will receive £100,000 from received developer contributions for a new standalone primary and secondary school provision to accommodate the increase in population anticipated as a result of developments across the area. Warwickshire County Council is working with Warwick District Council to bring forward a suitable site that would allow for the provision of a new all-through school, providing opportunities to link with the proposed Country Park and provide community sports provision. The £100,000 will be used to support the outline planning application.
£400,000 has been earmarked to support the increased demand for SEND pupil provisions at schools across the county, for example to create a disabled toilet or ramp to ensure that mainstream schools are accessible for children with special educational needs. Again, this will enable many vulnerable young children to remain in Warwickshire to receive their education.
Warwickshire’s Assistant Director of Education and Learning, Ian Budd said: ‘With the funding allocated to our capital programme, we are in a better position to address increased demand that we have in the county. Population growth is putting additional pressure on our schools: this funding will enable us to meet the need for additional places in schools.
“The increasing number of children in schools will also see an increase in young people with Education, Health and Plans. We want to be able to provide for these young people in our own schools wherever possible. A flexible allocation to allow us to make modifications to existing schools so that they are fit for purpose for children with disabilities will be an invaluable additional resource, keeping as many of our children as possible in Warwickshire to receive their education.”