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New units to help pupils with ASD

Three new units for teaching pupils diagnosed with moderate Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are to be created in Swansea.


Swansea Council's Cabinet has given the final go-ahead for the specialist facilities at two primary schools and a secondary school in the city.

They will create an additional 48 places for pupils with ASD in addition to the provision that already exists.

There will be 16 places each at both Dunvant and Portmead primary schools and another 16 places for secondary school pupils at Birchgrove Comprehensive.

The plans were first considered by cabinet last December and the schools, parents, staff and the wider community were then asked for their views.

The schools were identified following an extensive review that looked at which had the potential space that, with modest changes, could provide the accommodation required.

Around £350k will be spent setting up the units with the annual running costs estimated at around £600k.

Formal notices outlining the plans were then published. Today cabinet gives its approval with the aim of the new units opening in January next year.

Cllr Jennifer Raynor, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Life Long Learning, said: "Diagnosis of ASD is on the increase and it is important that the provision is in place in our schools in Swansea.

"Creating these three new units will help us to meet the needs of more pupils and increase their chances of reaching their full potential in life.

"We have the necessary funding in place and the feedback from our consultation exercise earlier in the year showed overwhelming support for these new units at the three schools.

"The headteachers concerned have also been very supportive of the plans and we are grateful for their help in reaching the point we are at today."

There are already successful units for pupils with ASD operating in mainstream school sites in Swansea at Clase, Clwyd and Gwyrosydd Primary Schools and at Dylan Thomas and Gowerton Comprehensives.

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