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Increase in places for additional needs pupils in Neath school

MEMBERS of Neath Port Talbot Council have agreed to an increase in places at a school in Neath, in order to create a better provision for children with additional learning needs.

The proposals given to council bosses highlighted plans to add extra provision for primary age pupils with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) at Blaenhonddan Primary School in Neath.

This will see the creation of a self-contained facility for up to 16 pupils with special educational needs, where they will benefit from being taught by experienced and specialist staff.

The report read: “The council is responsible for promoting high educational standards and for delivering efficient primary and secondary education. Having the right schools in the right place and ensuring that they are fit for the 21st century learner is the challenge facing the council.

“Achieving this will involve reviewing the number and type of schools the council has in its area and assessing whether or not best use is being made of resources and facilities. This will include ensuring suitable provision and support for those pupils with additional learning needs.”

It also highlighted that there are currently 18 learning support centres within the borough of Neath Port Talbot, offering 262 places for primary aged pupils with a range of additional learning needs.

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Members in attendance at an Education, Skills and Wellbeing Cabinet Board in November passed the approval, as well as praising officers in the borough for their quick turnaround with the plans.

Blaenhonddan Primary School will now receive around £242,000 per year in additional funding to manage the provision for up to 16 pupils, from Neath Port Talbot’s delegated schools budget.

The approval comes just weeks after the council announced early stage proposals for a number of major school building and refurbishment projects across the borough, which will include a potential new-build replacement for Godre’rgraig Primary, and  £17 million replacement single-site school for Ysgol Hendrefelin Special School.