Hartlepool school set for £2.75m 'significant extension'

Councillors are to discuss plans for £2.75m improvements to Catcote Academy to ensure better facilities for pupils with special needs in Hartlepool.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 12:00 am
Catcote Academy could be set for £2.75m of improvements.
Catcote Academy could be set for £2.75m of improvements.

Hartlepool Borough Council chiefs have noted the main Catcote Academy building, in Catcote Road, is no longer “fit for purpose” after “a significant number of years” without investment.

This is due to the varying and increasing complexity of children’s needs at the school and more pupils needing specialist support, according to officers.

The council’s children’s services committee will on Wednesday discuss plans for the £2.75million improvements, which would enable the council to better support children with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in Hartlepool.

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The funding will support a “significant extension” to the school to replace an existing “temporary” demountable building, which has been used for 15 years and currently educates 48 pupils.

It will also add to the capacity to support children with moderate learning difficulties.

A report from the council’s director of children’s and joint commissioning services, Sally Robinson, said the increased SEND provision is needed to meet the “current and future” demand.

She said: “The proposal to develop a local unit funded from grant funding and prudential borrowing is the most cost effective solution.

“It is important that children that live in Hartlepool are able to be educated in Hartlepool.

“The additional capacity at Catcote Academy will ensure that more children can be educated within their community.”

It is proposed the project would be funded from £1.2million of grant funding and £1.55million of “prudential borrowing”.