Schools to receive improved provision for pupils with special educational needs

Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive has agreed to plans to improve provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities at three of its schools.

Yesterday’s meeting approved spending on projects to improve specialist provision for hearing impaired pupils at Parkfields Middle School, in Toddington, and Toddington St George Church of England School, and for pupils requiring social, emotional and mental health provision at Oak Bank School, in Leighton Buzzard.

Parkfields and Toddington St George are two of three schools in Central Bedfordshire – along with Harlington Upper School – to offer specialist provision for children with hearing impairments. This is provided by the Harlington Area Schools Trust.

The funding will help Oak Bank to expand to meet additional demand for specialist provision, potentially creating a range of new teaching areas including specialist science and design technology classrooms, improved sports and dining facilities and additional toilets. That will allow Oak Bank to accommodate a projected 90 pupils by 2019 – up from the 66 currently attending the school.

Councillor Mark Versallion, Executive Member for Education and Skills, said: “Considerable work has already gone into these projects to provide improved provision at the three schools.

“All three schools are rated outstanding by Ofsted and it would be prudent to use funding to create new facilities, also replacing a temporary unit at Toddington St George. Oak Bank is a particular success story, with children attending from all over Central Bedfordshire, and it makes sense to allow it to expand and meet projected demand.”

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