Plan to create more pupil places at Wigan school

Oakfield High School and College
Oakfield High School and College

Proposals to extend a school for pupils with special educational needs are a step closer to becoming reality.

A planning application has been submitted to create a single-storey extension at Oakfield High School in Hindley.

It would house a new school reception area, with a courtyard infill planned to create additional dining provision.

The development would be part of the first phase of a 10-year plan to transform special educational needs provision in the borough.

Wigan Council’s long-term scheme looks at the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), creating more school places, building new schools and improving facilities.

A decision on the planning application for the Long Lane school is expected to be made by October.

Cath Pealing, interim assistant director for education at the council, said: “This is all part of the council’s long-term plan to ensure the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities are being met.

“There is high demand across the borough for places at special educational needs schools so we’re currently working on a phased approach over the next 10 years which will create more school places and build new facilities where current schools need investment.

“We are committed to ensuring all children get the very best education and support.”

The 10-year programme also includes proposals to rebuild Hope School on a new site at Central Park, on Montrose Avenue, Kitt Green.

The current Hope School site would be retained and reserved with the possibility of a primary school.

There are plans for new buildings for Rowan Tree Primary School in Leigh, Landgate School in Bryn and Willow Grove Primary School in Ashton.

Currently there are no proposals for Newbridge Learning Community in Platt Bridge.

Last week, research by the Wigan Post and JPIMedia’s data unit revealed an increase of almost a quarter in the number of pupils at the borough’s special schools in the past seven years.

At the same time, there was a drop in the number of children with SEN attending mainstream primary and high schools.