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Plans for £9 million special school submitted to ministers

By Karen Compton | Newtown | Education | Published:

Plans for a £9.1 million replacement special school in north Powys have taken a step closer after the county council’s cabinet members gave the go-ahead to submit proposals to the Welsh Government.

Powys County Council is planning to build a new school for Brynllywarch Hall School and cabinet yesterday approved the combined strategic outline case and outline business case, which will now be submitted to the Welsh Government for its approval.

The investment plans will help the council deliver its Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys, a 10-year strategy that was approved earlier this year.

The school, located in Kerry near Newtown, provides education for pupils from eight to 19 years old, with a wide range of complex individual needs that are unique to every learner.

Cabinet was told that the funding required for the replacement school would be £9.1m, with 75 per cent of funding coming from the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools Programme. The remaining 25 per cent would be funded by the council.

If given the go-ahead the investment would deliver a purpose-built and flagship community-focused school with 72 places in age-appropriate environments and would also include:

  • Specialist support and provision to pupils with challenging behaviour, emotional and social difficulties in a modern and innovative learning environment.
  • Appropriate learning spaces to deliver the new national curriculum.
  • Specialist equipment, including IT facilities, to support teaching and learning outcomes which will help to ensure all learners maximise their potential
  • A fully equipped class base, with breakout space, calming room, laundry and hygiene facilities, together with an individual outdoor learning area.

Community groups would also be able to access the facilities out of school hours.

Councillor Phyl Davies, cabinet member for education, said: “One of our priorities is an innovative and flagship community-focused campus to replace the existing Brynllywarch Hall building, which is unsuitable for the teaching and learning required to support those pupils with significant behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. If the Strategic Outline and Outline Business cases are approved by the Welsh Government, this would be a huge investment in our school infrastructure.

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“As part of our Vision 2025, we are committed to providing world-class facilities, especially for our most vulnerable learners. Our plans for Brynllywarch Hall School show this commitment.”

Councillor Kath Roberts-Jones, chair of governors, and headteacher Gavin Randell said: “The school and governing body fully supportive of these plans.

“We are excited at the prospect of a new school that will enable us to support some of the most vulnerable young people in Powys. Our pupils deserve access to the best education provision possible that will in turn support the wider population of the young people of Powys as a whole.”

Karen Compton

By Karen Compton
Chief Reporter

Reporter on the Mid Wales Journal.

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