Wakefield Council proposes new facilities for school

Wakefield Council is to look at plans to expand the facilities at Highfield School for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.

On April 29, the Council's Cabinet will look at a report which recommends expanding the school by adding an additional two-storey building with more facilities and, in partnership with Wakefield College, developing a transition programme to support post 16 learners with special needs to move into College.

The school at Gawthorpe Lane in Ossett currently cater for around 150 students aged 11-16 years with special educational needs and disabilities from across the Wakefield district.

In summer 2012 all the school leavers moved on to further education placements, this proposal aims to continue the success of the school.

John Wilson, corporate director for children and young people said:"The proposals will offer pupils a curriculum tailored to meet their needs and ease the transition into post 16 education.

"Plans to further develop the partnership between Highfield School, Ossett Academy and Wakefield College will offer more opportunities to those students who mayt find the transition from school to college  challenging. 

"We want to make sure all our young people are getting the best possible education they can and these plans will make sure that more 16 year-olds throughout the district choose to continue their education." 
If plans go ahead the new two-storey building could feature a life and living skills flat for students to develop their independent living skills in a supported environment. It will also have teaching spaces and other facilities. The cost of construction will be covered by Highfield School, estimated to be between £160,000 and £200,000 with an additional £18,000 for solar panels so the school has self-sufficient heating.

The school is a member of the Education Ossett Community Trust, working in partnership with primary and secondary schools in the local neighbourhood. As part of this partnership, the school provides education for sixth form students from Ossett Academy who have complex disabilities.

The report is being discussed by Wakefield Council's Cabinet on April 29. ​