PLANS which will create new facilities for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have been approved.

The Educational Alliance of Canford Heath (TEACH Poole) applied for certificates of lawfulness for two new modular buildings at Canford Heath Junior School in Learoyd Road.

Now, both applications have been approved by BCP Council.

As reported, the school proposed plans to build a new music block, as it is going to develop its current music facilities into a speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) resource base and therapy rooms.

At neighbouring Canford Heath Infant School, the trust’s finance office will also be converted into a dedicated SLCN resource base.

The new provision at the infant school will be for up to 15 SEND children with education, health and care plans (EHCPs), with the junior school facilities having space for up to 20 children with these plans.

A supporting statement submitted to the council by Coomber Associates Limited on behalf of the applicant said: “These proposed schemes will also develop a wider range of pathways as children transition from early years to primary through secondary and post 16 provision and into employment, including supported internships.”

The trust recognised the growing demand for SEND provision in the BCP Council conurbation, saying that these new facilities will help to reduce reliance on ‘expensive ‘out of area’ placements’.

The new spaces will ‘better meet the needs of local children, whilst also providing a more cost-effective placement for BCP’, the statement said.

It added: “The school itself will also benefit from offering this provision, as it will add additional SALT expertise to its existing workforce, meaning other mainstream pupils will benefit from this mutual learning.”

As a result of the plans to expand the trust’s SEND provision, the trust is losing both its finance office and its music facilities.

These approved proposals now mean it can build a new music block at the junior school, while replacing a ‘dilapidated’ estates team building at the junior school to house the finance office.

Both applications, for the music building and the finance office building, were approved on Monday, March 11.