Specialist learning centres to close

15 July 2010, 09:23

It looks like four specialist learning centres in Wiltshire are going to be shut down.

The units at Durrington Junior School, Harnham Junior School, Mere School and Zouch School will close with in-school provision being made available for pupils who may need extra support.

Some relief for those campaigning to save the centres at Longleaze Primary in Wootton Bassett and the one at Malmesbury Primary. They're staying open for the time being at least, until another review is held in about a year's time. Studley Green Primary School will also retain specialist learning centres for complex needs and speech language and communication needs.

St Peter’s Junior School and St Mary’s Infant School in Marlborough as well as Westbury Junior School and Westbury Infants School will work together ensuring children have continuity in the services they receive from their specialist learning centres.

Wiltshire council say the proposed improvements are not designed to cut costs but to target taxpayers’ money better to support children with special needs. The council also claims the capacity in specialist learning centres is currently underused with approximately 59 percent of full time places being used by children with complex needs.

Hundreds of people have had their say on the plans in recent months, including a 3, 000 signature petition which was handed into County Hall.

All the feedback has now been collated and used to shape proposals to change the way the council provides these services.

The full proposals will be considered by Wiltshire Council's Cabinet on July 27th.