By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter
The number of places for children with special educational needs at a Nottinghamshire school has increased to meet demand.
The number of places at St Giles Special School on Babworth Road, Retford, has been increased from 170 to 205.
Nottinghamshire County Council says an additional 275 to 490 places in specialist provision are needed by September 2026.
The expansion at St Giles School will allow for an extra 35 children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in and around Bassetlaw.
Nottinghamshire’s SEND Place Planning Strategy (2021-2026) states that there is a “continuing demand” for such placements.
The authority says most of the additional placements will be on mainstream school sites so children can be integrated.
It added the plans will help to place pupils who move into the area but do not have a special school place.
The plans will also “create an opportunity to host more teacher training places at the school, thus increasing the special needs experience of teachers for the future”.
It will therefore reduce the need for pupils with SEND to be placed at a greater distance from where they live, or to move to independent provision.
Council documents state: “St Giles School was one of the schools identified as having the capacity for development as the site was suitable for a cost-effective expansion with good access to utilities and without the need to disrupt the learning of the pupils already on site.
“This school has the necessary expertise to meet the priority needs identified.”
A consultation on the plans received 10 responses, all in support of the proposals.