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Land sale proposed for academy development

A PROPOSED land sale will bring plans for a new primary school for Middlesbrough a step closer.

Plans for the new Discovery Special Academy were first unveiled last year as part of a drive to increase special educational needs provision.

The free school will cater for up to 84 pupils aged four to 11 with complex and significant learning, communication, physical and medical needs.

The sale of land at Sandy Flatts Lane will be considered at a meeting of Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Sub-Committee for Property on Wednesday, January 23.

The school would be operated by Tees Valley Education Trust (TVEd), following its successful application to the Government’s Free School Programme.

Middlesbrough Council has a statutory duty to ensure that there are sufficient special needs school places to meet demand, but no longer has the power to establish new school provision.

The sale of the 1.8 hectare site will also generate a capital receipt of nearly £728,000 to be reinvested into the Council’s capital programme.

The new school opened in temporary accommodation on the sites of Brambles and Pennyman primary schools in September, with the new site expected to open in September, 2021.

Councillor Jan Brunton Dobson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Education and Skills, will present the latest proposal to a meeting of the Executive Sub-Committee for Property next Wednesday (January 23).

She said: “The proposed school will help to reduce the need for out-of-area placements with associated transport costs, or placements in local mainstream schools that incur expensive support costs.

“It will also ensure that those with complex learning and developmental needs will receive the education, learning experiences and qualifications they need.

“Access to the right therapies, equipment, trained staff and resources will help pupils to get the best start in life.”

A report on the proposed disposal of land at Sandy Flatts Lane to enable the development of the Discovery Special Academy will be considered by Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Sub-Committee for Property on Wednesday, January 23.

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