Wokingham Borough Council’s decision-making executive has approved a £4.4million expansion of Addington School so that more local children with SEND can be educated closer to home.
The school serves 206 children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and is rated outstanding by Ofsted. The Executive’s decision on 31 January now means Wokingham Borough Council can work with the school and surrounding community to investigate the potential for a planning application.
Some 130 (about 40%) of Wokingham Borough children needing a special school place are currently educated outside the borough. These placements, and the associated travel expenses, are disproportionately expensive as well as being very disruptive to the children.
All of the building work would be contained within the existing school site. The new classrooms would be situated where the ball courts and parking area now stand, and these would be relocated to the west of their current position. The neighbouring popular public open space, which is protected in our planning policies as a Site of Urban Landscape Value (SULV), will not be touched by the school’s expansion.
“Addington is an exceptionally well-run school and provides first-rate education thanks to its dedicated headteacher, staff and supportive parents,” said Cllr Shahid Younis, deputy executive member for children’s services.
“An expansion would allow us to educate more of the borough’s children locally. We currently send far too many of our children out of the borough to expensive special schools elsewhere. Expanding Addington will mean more of our children can benefit from this outstanding provision, have a better quality of family life, and it will also save taxpayers money in the longer term.”