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Council consulting on school changes

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Plans have been unveiled to create a specialist base for children with special educational needs at a borough primary school.

The unit at Hawbush Primary School in Brierley Hill will cater for up to eight children with social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH).

It has been in operation at the Hawbush Road school on a temporary basis since January, but council bosses now want to make the move permanent.

The council is also proposing to implement post-16 education at Halesbury School in Halesowen. Plans could see four children aged 16-plus with autism join the roll at the special school from September 2020, with numbers increasing in future years if it proves successful.

The two proposals are now out to consultation, with parents, staff and residents living nearby able to have their say.

The changes are part of the council’s SEND improvement programme, a commitment to improve the lives of children with special educational needs and disabilities in the borough.

Councillor Ruth Buttery, cabinet member for children and young people, said:

As part of our new wider inclusion strategy, Dudley Council is committed to improving outcomes for all pupils.
We have seen a sustained increase in the borough in recent years in the need for specialist educational provision for young people with special educational needs.
These proposals will allow pupils to be taught in dedicated units by specialist staff and, in the case of Hawbush, allow opportunities to integrate into mainstream classes where appropriate.
Both schools have extensive experience in meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs.
It would prevent pupils from having to travel long distances to get to schools outside the borough, which is what is happening in some cases currently.

People can view the full proposals and have their say on Hawbush at https://www.dudley.gov.uk/council-community/get-involved/hawbush-primary-school-consultation/, and Halesbury at https://www.dudley.gov.uk/council-community/get-involved/halesbury-school-consultation/

Responses for the consultation need to be received by April 29.

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