When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
£5.3million Bournemouth school to cater for autistic children
A NEW specialist school is to be built in Bournemouth to cater for a growing number of pupils with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
It will also pay for the modernisation and refurbishment of Heath-lands School.
Linwood School is an outstanding specialist school but its main Winton campus is full and the council believes it needs to provide spaces for another 60 pupils within the next five years.
Ian Finlay, programme leader at Bournemouth council, said: “As the demand for school places in Bournemouth continues to rise, so does the number of children who require more specialist teaching and care.
“Pupils are being diagnosed earlier and more consistently. That is good news but the reality today is that our primary provision is Linwood, which is full.”
He said building a new specialist school would be far more cost-effective than accommodating pupils out of town and would enable pupils to benefit from Lin-wood’s expertise.
The new school would cater for up to 60 children aged from four to 16.
There is a possibility it could also accommodate older teenagers but that has not yet been decided upon.
The proposals, which go before cabinet next Wednesday have been unanimously welcomed by both headteachers and both sets of governors at Heathlands and Linwood.
Parent governor Jimmy Reilly said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for Heathlands. It’s a chance to replace our tired annexe building with some fantastic new classrooms, to install new windows and new toilet facilities and to generally upgrade amenities here.
“We’re also delighted to know that space on our school site will be put to such good use.
“Up-to-date facilities will have a positive impact on children’s learning.”
And Julie Clarke, chair of governors at Linwood School, said: “We care passionately about providing excellent teaching for young people with ASD and are so pleased to have an opportunity to extend this work to meet the growing need here in Bournemouth.”