Plans are being drawn up for two new special schools as Kirklees Council invests £4.2 million in repairs and maintenance at around 30 schools across the district.
A report to the council’s ruling Cabinet, which meets next week, says there is an urgent need to increase the number of school places for youngsters with special educational needs and disabilities.
The council is looking for two sites for new-build special schools – likely to be made public in May or June – but in the short term officials have “identified an urgent need” to increase places at Southgate School in Almondbury.
The report says a modular building will be put up at the school along with some internal improvements to the main building – at a cost of no more than £500,000.
Meanwhile, at the meeting on April 13, councillors will be asked to approve spending of £4.2 million on school buildings.
The works would provide a wide range of facilities including new roofs, new electrical equipment, heating and lighting systems and improvements to access for children with disabilities.
Around £3 million of the proposed investment has been earmarked for specific projects, while approximately £1.2 million would be allocated to other works over the coming months.
Schools to benefit include: Ashbrow Primary School – rewiring £134,200 and a re-roofing of a flat roof £107,000; Birkby Infant & Nursery School – boiler plant replacement to nursery £87,500; Brockholes J&I School – re-roof flat roof £75,000; Dalton School – drainage and repairs £50,000; and Flockton First School – rewire, £120,800.
Also, Hepworth J&I School – heating system £55,000; Holmfirth J, I & N – boiler plant £30,000; Marsden I&N School – rebuild cavity wall £95,000; Netherthong Primary School – boiler plant £110,000; Paddock J I & N – heating system £85,000; Scapegoat Hill J&I School – heating system £39,000; Slaithwaite J&I School – heating system £110,000; Wellhouse J&I School – replace fire alarm £21,200; and Wilberlee School – heating system £145,000.
Mel Meggs, strategic director for children’s services, said: “The proposals are about improving outcomes for our children and young people by providing access to high quality facilities.
“The investment would enable learning to be delivered in warm and secure environments so that pupils have the best opportunities to fulfil their potential.
“Kirklees schools do fantastic work in providing high standards of care and education. Upgrading facilities across the district is just one of the ways we are supporting their efforts.
“Many of the works would take place during school holiday periods – so that the impact is minimised for staff, children and families – and make a real difference for thousands of current and future pupils.”
David Shepherd, strategic director for growth and regeneration, said: “Investment in improving school buildings is a vital part of our vision for Kirklees.
“The proposed works would reduce the Kirklees carbon footprint and further enhance the council’s Climate Emergency work, increasing our use of sustainable technology and cutting energy usage.
“It would be a huge undertaking to complete projects in so many different buildings during the six-week summer break, but that’s our commitment.
“We want all school buildings to provide excellent, clean and green facilities for all those who use them, now and in the future.”