Specialist units could close
Specialist learning centres at six Wiltshire primary schools could be shut down. The separate units provide extra support for kids with learning difficulties, but Wiltshire council are looking to make cut backs. The six units in question are based at Longleaze Primary School in Wootton Bassett, Malmesbury Primary School and Zouch Primary in Tidworth. There's also three others in south Wiltshire.
Stephanie Denovan, service director for schools and learning at Wiltshire council, said:
“We are currently consulting on proposals for the future of education for children with special educational needs (SEN) in Wiltshire and are encouraging people to have their say. All views will be taken into account before any decisions are made.
“The consultation sets out proposals to provide a better range of provision and support that will meet the educational needs of all children with SEN across the county with more children able to have their needs met in their local school.
“The places currently available in complex needs centres are only used 54 per cent of the time. We propose to retain 180 places which will meet the requirements of the 115 children who could currently access a full-time place. We also propose to increase the number of full-time places for children with Autism and speech and language needs.
“We would like to see young people with SEN having their needs met at their local school unless they need a specialised placement on a full-time basis. By moving resources to where they are most needed we can re-allocate funds to improve support arrangements and resources for other specialist centres and mainstream schools. This will provide parents more choice alongside the county’s special schools and centres, which are a key part of the SEN provision.
“Alternative provision will be made available to any pupils affected by the changes either in another centre of in a mainstream school local to where the child lives. Each case will be looked at on an individual basis with their parents and where additional resources are needed these will be made available to the local school.
“Many of the proposals will not mean significant changes for individual children but where pupils are affected the necessary support and transport will be provided by the council.
“This is not a process designed to make cuts but one that is designed to make better provision for children across Wiltshire by making sure that existing resources are used more effectively."