Special needs provision increases in Gloucestershire

An extra £450,000 could be spent by Gloucestershire County Council for 25 special school places next year.

If approved, the money will be used to provide places across the county's 12 special schools in 2012-13.

Head of Commission for Learning Tim Browne said: "As there are medical advances, children who are born prematurely are surviving longer and some have profound and multiple needs."

There are currently 1,000 special schools places in Gloucestershire.

The rise in demand for special schools places is in line with overall growth in pupil rolls.

In mainstream schools next year, an extra 75 temporary places will be made available in Cheltenham and a further 120 places in Gloucester.

However, the costs per pupil in mainstream schools is about £3,000 - £3,500, while in special schools places cost about £17,000.

The decision to finance the 25 special schools places will be made next Spring when the council budget is decided.

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