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Additional school places and expanded special needs provision in the city

A new report has provided an update on the Schools Capital Programme which is investing in schools across the city.


Excellent progress is being made on over 25 schemes which are proposed for development. The schemes are being developed and delivered from funds available for school capital purposes in 2023-2024. 


The capital programme recognises the need for additional places in the city’s secondary schools and so major schemes are planned for works at the Co-operative Academy, Tunstall and the Ormiston Meridian Academy, Meir. These works will create over 400 additional school places which are much needed to accommodate the surge in demand created by the early 2000s baby boom.


The report also highlights ongoing expansion for special needs provision in the city, including a planned satellite building at Watermill School, Chell. Once completed, these works are expected to provide at least 70 new school places to allow more pupils to access the specialist provision they need locally. Other sites are also being considered to receive investment to allow pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to be educated locally.


The additional school places will be in addition to those created by the new Co-op Academy Florence MacWilliams and Manor Abbey Special Free School which are not funded by the city council’s programme.


There will also be works to improve the condition of the city’s maintained schools, including upgrade works to the Willows Primary School, where the school uses space in the Grade II-listed former Mount School to which it is attached.


A Stoke-on-Trent City Council Spokesperson said: “This is fantastic news for education in the city and will provide much-needed school places.


“For several years we’ve seen the effect of the boom in the school-aged population moving its way through primary and now entering secondary school. This year we ensured that, despite the pressures on school places that all Year 7 children who applied for a place were allocated a school. The Schools Capital Programme will make sure that we can continue this work in the future.


“It’s also brilliant news that more children with special educational needs and disabilities will be able to access education locally. It’s incredibly important that children with SEND can access the support and services they require and these works will allow us to provide this for more children in their local area.”


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