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Tackling the SEND school places shortfall

Planning approved for Farnworth’s Orchards Green Fold Special School and Cherry Tree School.

As a result of our extensions, the community will gain increase in the number of places available at The Orchards Green Fold Special School and the Cherry Tree School, off Highfield Road in Farnworth.

Measuring 2,000 sq ft, the purpose of the lower school extension is to accommodate 85 special needs pupils, an increase of 23 on the current number, and the relocation of 83 nursery age pupils to the upper school.

At the Cherry Tree upper school, there will be a side extension measuring 7,800 sq ft and a multi-use games area.

The current mainstream nursery at the Green Fold site will be moved to Cherry Tree, enabling the lower site to become solely for the Autistic Spectrum Disorder Unit, which in turn will allow for more special needs children places at both sites.

Bolton Council’s planning committee approved proposals submitted by the authority, to increase SEND places available at the upper and lower schools based at the site.

The authority estimates the cost of the extensions to be £8.6m, supported with funding from the department of education.

Green Fold Special School is a wonderful school and, recently, it was awarded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted so the community are supportive of its multi-million-pound expansion.

Cllr Paul Sanders, Farnworth South