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Special school upgrade and houses on display

By Sue Austin | Mid Wales | Education | Published:

A school for children from Powys with special needs is to be completely re-built as part of the county's 21st Century Schools Programme.

Powys County Council

The council says Cedewain School, Newtown, will have world class facilities for its students, including a hydrotherapy pool, sensory and physiotherapy rooms and garden as well as a community café.

Plans for the new school and also a housing development for affordable housing on the former Red Dragon site in Newtown will be on display to the public at a drop-in session that is taking place at Maesyrhandir Primary School on November 12 between 3-6pm.

The new school will, the council says, have purpose-built and state-of-the-art facilities as part of the council’s 21st Century Schools Programme, which is jointly funded by the council and the Welsh Government.

The Red Dragon site will be developed to meet the housing needs of the town.

Nina Davies, Head of Housing and Community Development, said: “We want to build good quality, sustainable and affordable homes that meet the needs of local communities across Powys and we have made a commitment to developing 250 additional homes as part of our Vision 2025.

“Our plans for the former Red Dragon site will help us meet our ambitious vision.”

Ageing

Lynette Lovell, Interim Head of Education, said: “One of our priorities is an innovative, state-of-the-art campus to replace the existing Ysgol Cedewain buildings. We are committed to providing world-class facilities for our most vulnerable learners and these plans will showcase what the new facilities could look like.

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“This is a cross-service event, organised by our Housing and Education services, and I would urge parents and the wider community to visit this drop-in event to look these exciting development plans and give us their views.”

In its latest Estyn report in which Cedewain was classed as Good, inspectors said that the school makes best use of a very difficult layout as it is spread over large grounds and has 10 small buildings.

"Most of the classrooms are ageing portable structures and, in some cases, are in need of urgent maintenance and repair," the report said.

"The distance and obstacles between classrooms mean that a lot of time and effort is spent safely escorting pupils with complex sensory and physical needs around the school site. This can be particularly challenging during bad weather, as was clearly highlighted during the inspection."

Inspectors also said that the buildings and layout also severely limit the provision of specialist equipment for severely disabled children.

"Despite these many challenges, the staff within the school have managed to provide as warm and inviting an environment as is possible. Inventive approaches and the continued hard work and goodwill of staff have made the environment work."

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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