A special school in Cwmbran is being expanded so an extra 50 pupils will be able to attend from January 2024.
Councillor Richard Clark, executive member for education, approved a report that will see £6,850,000 invested in the “oversubscribed” Crownbridge School.
The school opened in 2012 and educates children and young people aged 2-19 with severe learning difficulties. It was built with a capacity of 80 but this has led to a number of pupils being turned away in the last three years. Some pupils with “the most complex needs” are sent out of county to a “private provider at a cost per pupil to the authority of £90,000 per year, compared to an in-house cost of approximately £32,000.”
Bethan Moore, acting headteacher, said: “The extension will be completed by December 2023. The extension will help the increase in demand for Special Education with the Local Authority.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Crownbridge as it has always been at the heart of Special Education in Torfaen and it has a long-standing reputation as a school, which opens its doors to share ideas and learn from others.
“Expanding our school will reinforce the importance of fostering positive and authentic learning environments to allow pupils to realise their full potential. Through a pupil-centred approach we will be able to continue to provide a bespoke curriculum offer that meets the needs of individual needs, while having their wellbeing at the heart of everything that we do.”
The cost is being shared between the Welsh Government (£5,137,500) and Torfaen Council (£1,712,500).