Borough residents are being asked for the views on how the council should expand its services for youngsters with special educational needs.
The council has launched a consultation canvassing views, particularly from the parents of disabled children, on how best it can go forward.
It stresses that this isn’t a prelude to cutting or removing services; on the contrary there aren’t enough places for pupils with special educational needs and this needs addresing. But also has to be factored in is that the local authority is having to cut its budgets by millions of pounds each year through austerity measures.
The council is thinking of changing provision because:
There has been a slight increase in the number of children who need special school places and as a consequence some have to attend special schools that are some distance out of the borough schools, meaning they spend more time away from their families and communities;
Some schools need modernising to ensure young people have enough spaces and up-to-date facilities;
The new housing developments planned across the borough in the long term will increase the number of children. The council has projected that extra capacity and/or places are needed to make sure there are enough places available for all young people who will need them.
A spokesman said: “This is an exciting opportunity for you to give us your views on how we develop our specialist provision for the future. We need to make sure that we have the right school provision in the borough to support the needs of our children and young people and we want to do this with all members of the borough.”
The consultation is open until April 11. Visit http://bit.ly/2tIQLfE.