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No responses to consultation over children with additional needs

Dorchester Learning Centre at Monkton Park

7:36am 18th July 2018

Dorset councillors are being asked today (18th July) to decide new policies for children with additional needs – after a public consultation in which nobody took part.

The new policy will set up a number of specialist places at several schools and change the age range for pupils who need the specialist service.

A report before the Dorset County Council cabinet says extra places will be funded for children with Complex Communication Needs and Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs.

Dorchester Learning Centre sign

In all about 80 places are being funded at the Dorchester Learning Centre, Monkton Park; the Compass Learning Centre, Weymouth; Forum Centre, Blandford; Parley First School and West Moors Middle School.

Most of the new places will be ready for the start of the new school year in September 2018.

During the four-week public consultation, from May 24th, there were no responses to the proposals at all.

The county council says the new policy will offer more specialist places closer to home for more families and children – avoiding out of county provision and reducing travel times and costs.

Under the proposed changes pupils will be able to enter the Dorchester and Forum Learning Centres at 4 – a year earlier than at present.

A further paper is expected later this year proposing additional places at other schools across the county with the aim of being operational by September 2019.

By Local Democracy Reporters, Trevor Bevins


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