Residents to hear of Heltwate School expansion plan

Bob Coombes retiring caretaker at Heltwate school is pictured with pupils on his retirement presented the pupils with a new trophy for the pupils in his memory EMN-140214-131539001

Bob Coombes retiring caretaker at Heltwate school is pictured with pupils on his retirement presented the pupils with a new trophy for the pupils in his memory EMN-140214-131539001

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Residents are invited to find out more about plans to extend Heltwate School in Bretton at an exhibition on Tuesday March 17.

People who attend the event will be able to hear details of plans to increase the size of the special school by one class and alter parking arrangements. The exhibition will take place between 2pm and 6pm.

The extension will allow the school to take children from reception age (four) for the first time, creating an additional eight places. Currently there are 140 pupils on roll. The works are expected to be completed by spring 2016.

Heltwate School offers education for 5 to 19-year-olds with moderate to severe learning difficulties. In addition, it also offers autism specific education.

Councillor John Holdich, Peterborough City Council cabinet member for education, skills and university, said: “The expansion of Heltwate School is just one of the projects we have underway to increase the number of school places there are available in Peterborough for children with special educational needs.

“We are investing millions of pounds in our schools to create additional places and have been for a number of years. This is because we have seen large numbers of additional children arriving in our city and have one of the highest birth rates in the country.

“We also need to make sure we have enough places in schools which provide an education for children with additional needs so that every child in the city receives the best and most suitable education for their needs.”

An expansion of The Phoenix School, which caters for children with physical disabilities and severe learning difficulties, is also underway.

The existing temporary mobiles at the school in Orton Malborne will be replaced with a permanent building to create an additional 54 places. The extension is expected to be completed by spring 2016.

A two-classroom extension is taking place at Nenegate School in Park Lane, Peterborough, so that it can take children from the age of 10 as opposed to 11. The school caters for children who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

City College Peterborough is also being expanded, using a £660,000 grant secured by the council, to increase provision for students with learning difficulties.

The expansion proposals include adding another storey to the single storey art block.

The City of Peterborough Special School, which is run by the Greenwood Dale Foundation Trust, opened its doors in September 2012. The school caters for up to 90 pupils, aged from four to 18, with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.