Cheshire East Council has been invited to proceed to the next stage of developing a new special school as part of an announcement today by the Department of Education.
This is an important step to expand our range of provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) within Cheshire East. This is part of a wider analysis of where SEND school places are required across the borough.
Cheshire East Council currently places a significant number of SEND pupils in out of borough settings as a consequence of low capacity inherited from the split of Cheshire County Council in 2009.
The identified site for this new provision – the former Lodgefields School, Crewe – would be a school for SEND pupils that would otherwise need to be educated outside the borough.
Through a number of consultation forums with parents of SEND children, it has been emphasised how important it is that children and young people have opportunities to attend educational settings within their local communities.
This will encourage stronger interactions and relationship-forming with peers locally and avoid the need for lengthy journeys.
Councillor Liz Durham, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: “As part of our commitment to increase local SEND provision, we are extremely pleased and excited by the opportunities this decision will bring for children and young people living in the borough.
“We will now start the hard work to ensure this is delivered in a timely fashion so that this can become a reality as soon as possible.”