Cash will allow improved special needs provision at several Leighton Buzzard schools

Central Beds Council is consulting on proposals to improve special provision for children and young people with education, health and care (EHC) plans after being allocated £700,000 from the Department for Education.

This is in addition to £1.6million of capital funding given to the council by the DfE and consulted on in 2018. It is proposed that this new funding, which can only be used to invest in adapting or expanding buildings and facilities, will be used for improvement projects across 15 schools.

Central Beds Council's offices at Chicksands

Central Beds Council's offices at Chicksands

After inviting schools and education settings to submit expressions of interest on how to allocate the funding, the council is proposing to fund the following projects in LBO land:

Greenleas School, Derwent Road site: Refurbishment of the current planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) space to create a purpose-built multi-purpose nurture hub.

Greenleas School, Kestrel Way site: Construction of an internal nurture hub space to replace the current shared provision, which is oversubscribed.

Oak Bank School: Build a three-classroom single-storey extension to the school, to provide a discrete teaching space for key stage 2 students.

Brooklands Middle School: Learning Hub – one larger room for small group interventions with children with SEN (focus on ASD), one pod used for small group/one-to-one work used also as a sensory room.

Cllr Sue Clark said: “This additional funding is a welcome boost to the funding we received for special education provision from the Department for Education. While we already plan for improvements to school facilities, this additional funding means we can do more.

“To help us develop our specific proposals we have already engaged with parents, through the Special Needs Action Panel (SNAP) as well as schools and education settings.

“Now we’d like to hear residents’ feedback. You can have your say online at http://centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/council/consultations/send-funding-2019/overview.aspx or you can pick up a paper response form from council offices.”

All responses should be received by 5pm on July 3, 2019.