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Bradford Council Plans Extra SEND Places In District's Schools

The local authority has launched a month long public consultation.

Plans to create over 130 special needs places in schools throughout the district have gone out to public consultation – but hundreds more still need to be identified.

Earlier this year the Bradford Schools Forum decided that 354 extra special educational needs places were urgently required to meet rising demand in the district.

More details of where some of these places will be were revealed yesterday when Bradford Council began a month long consultation into the proposals.

The 134 spaces will be created by September.

An extra 34 resourced provision places for pupils with communication and interaction needs including autistic spectrum disorders will be created. These will include 22 places at Princeville Primary School off Legrams Lane, with another 12 places being created at Miriam Lord Primary School in Manningham.

An extra 40 spaces for secondary aged children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs will be created at Oastler Special School – with that school’s pupil numbers rising from 94 to 134.

Hollingwood Primary School in Great Horton will get an extra 16 places for primary aged children with social emotional and mental health needs.

And Appleton Academy will create an extra 20 places for secondary aged children with communication and interaction needs including autistic spectrum disorders.

Crossley Hall Primary school will double the amount of primary aged pupils with communication and interaction needs including, autistic spectrum disorders it takes on, increasing from 12 to 24.

And at Horton Park Primary School 12 places will be created for pupils with complex special educational needs.

Details on how the Council plans to create the other 220 places are expected to be announced later this year - the consultation runs until Thursday June 20.

The Bradford Schools Forum has been working for years to find ways to create extra SEND places in Bradford.

Government legislation means Councils are unable to open new schools, and a bid for a new special free school in the district was recently passed over by the Department for Education. It means places are having to be created at existing schools and facilities.

The committee has also bemoaned what they describe as inadequate funding for specialist places coming into Bradford from the government.

At a meeting of the Schools Forum on Wednesday, Marium Haque, Bradford Council’s Deputy Director for Education and Learning, said there had been a “significant gap” between the places available and what was needed.

She said the Council was still waiting for the government to make an announcement on future SEND free schools in Bradford, but added: “We have been pushing this, but things have gone pretty quiet. I don’t know if the government has diverted all its energy to Brexit, but we have been given very little information.”

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