Sheffield schools to get more places

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Dozens of extra school places – including more support for children with special needs and mental health problems – are set to be given the green light in Sheffield.

Plans have been drawn up to increase capacity at Oughtibridge Primary and the Rowan Special School in Dore from next September, as well as to allow pupils aged five and upwards to attend Becton hospital school in Beighton.

Sheffield Council says the proposals have been drawn up to meet increasing demand for places, in particular in the north of Sheffield, and for children with conditions such as autism.

The intake at Oughtibridge will rise from 45 to 60 children per year under the plans. Meanwhile the Rowan Primary, which teaches youngsters with complex speech, language and communication difficulties, will see its capacity increase by 22 places to 90 overall.

Formally lowering the age range at Becton – which officially accepts children aged 11 to 18 only – would allow the school to secure proper funding for each pupil’s place.

Coun Jackie Drayton, the council’s cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “As births continue to rise we need to constantly review our education provision.

“The council has a duty to ensure there are sufficient places for all children, but this is also a chance for us to really help boost educational opportunities for children, particularly those with more complex needs.”

The proposals have been recommended for approval and will be discussed at a cabinet meeting next Wednesday.