A SPECIAL school will open a new campus this year for pupils aged five and under with autism.
Littlewood will provide for 18 youngsters from September and will come under the umbrella of Bournemouth’s Linwood School.
The opening of Littlewood, in Moore Avenue, will mean Linwood will run four different campuses as well as its innovative Classroom in the Heart of the Industry (CHI) scheme.
Extra places are being introduced to cope with an increased demand in the borough.
Head teacher Julie Jeanes said children are being diagnosed earlier and the increasing population means more people require their services.
“New campuses have been opened because of the high demand” she said. “Children were being sent out of the county because there were not enough places.
“The CHI scheme has been very successful and there are plans to expand it from the start of the new school year.”
Linwood caters for young people between the ages of three and 19 with speech, learning and communication needs, cognition and learning needs, specific learning difficulties, social, emotional and mental health needs and sensory or physical needs.
Examples include autism, severe learning difficulties, dyspraxia and mobility difficulties.
The main school in Alma Road has 210 pupils with a range of needs, Springwood in Moore Avenue has 42 pupils with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, Summerwood in Nortoft Road has 30 students aged 16-19 with Asperger’s and Littlewood will have 18 little ones. The CHI project is an industry programme linked to Tesco and the Marsham Court Hotel in Bournemouth, where work opportunities are offered to students aged 16-19 with moderate learning needs.
Now in its second year, the project has helped 15 young people so far and 19 are already enrolled for the third year, starting in September.
Building work is also under way at the Alma Road site where six new classrooms will open in September for students with the most complex needs.
The project, being undertaken by Modulek, will provide state-of-the-art facilities.