Have your say: Proposal aims to generate 100 essential places in specialised schools

Bolton Council has submitted proposals to expand Firwood Special School’s secondary and sixth form provision on land next to the new Jubilee Centre. This expansion would create an additional 100 special school places, addressing the high demand that often forces the council to rely on expensive independent placements outside the borough. Despite recent expansions at its current site on Stitch Mi Lane, Firwood School is nearing its operating capacity. The Jubilee Centre, managed by the Bolton Cares Group, offers community-based services for adults with learning disabilities. The proposed facility, delivered by the Woodbridge Trust in partnership with the council and Bolton Cares, aims to minimize disruption and ensure that the plans benefit everyone involved. The council invites the public to participate in an initial consultation on the proposed change of land use. Cllr Martin Donaghy, Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, highlights the need for more special school places within the borough, as relying on external placements not only incurs additional costs but also separates pupils from their community, friends, and family. The expansion would enable more children to receive education in Bolton in a purpose-built facility that caters to their needs. The council emphasizes the importance of public participation in the consultation process, as the land is managed on behalf of all residents. Further consultation will take place during the building design and planning stages.

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