A headteacher has told of the “fantastic” opportunity for children with special needs in South Tyneside after winning permission to open a new specialist learning facility.
Park View School, South Shields, is opening an annex at Hanlon Court, Jarrow, which will cater for up to 25 learners, aged 14 to 16, when it opens in January,
Park View head Dave Borrell says the new unit will deliver key vocational skills to youngsters in the area - pupils who have challenging social, emotional or mental health difficulties.
He says it will also alleviate pressure for places at Park View, which has an extensive waiting list.
Mr Borrell said the school aims to work with local businesses and employers to tailor its curriculum to meet employment demand.
He added: “This is fantastic news and a really significant opportunity for our children.
“This extension of Park View will allow us to deliver vocational training courses that link into employment. This is about getting these children ready for the next stage of life.
“We work with children who have challenging needs and they need an extra edge to compete against those who are leaving mainstream education with qualifications.”
He added: “There is a growing number of children with special needs, but there is no single identifiable reason for this.
“We want to give them skills and qualifications. We hope to also offer this support to other schools.”
Park View School, which opened in Temple Park Road, South Shields, in January 2013, has over 40 pupils, aged 11 to 16, and a staff of 24.
Catering for learners with Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties (SEMH), its delivers learning based on the national curriculum but with additional support programmes.