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Plans for a new specialised school in Stonehouse get the go ahead

South Lanarkshire councillors warmly welcome plans for a new specialised school.

At the executive committee meeting this week, elected members approved plans to establish a new social, emotional and behavioural needs (SEBN) Secondary School in Stonehouse.

The plans to build a new specialised school comes as the current designated school for SEBN pupils, Kear School in Blantyre, has been deemed as ‘not fit for purpose’.

Kear School has provision for up to 60 pupils, and there’s also locations throughout each locality in South Lanarkshire with the provision of 12 places in St Andrew’s and St Bride’s High School in East Kilbride, Calderside Academy in Hamilton, Cathkin High School in Rutherglen/Cambuslang area and Carluke Lifestyles in Clydesdale.

All the learners within the Kear campus have been identified as some of the most vulnerable within the authority.

Those attending the campus have complex additional support needs that cannot be met with the mainstream school model for varied and individual reasons.

The current building is limited and has a number of weaknesses such as inadequate soundproofing throughout the building – which contributes to distractions across the learning environment – and its multi-storey design is not safe, effective or efficient for movement around the school.

Council officers believe the best way forward is to establish a brand new campus at Union Street in Stonehouse.

Councillors welcomed the plans and approved the decision to build a new specialised school.

Provost Margaret Cooper (Avondale and Stonehouse), said: “I would like to say that I fully endorse and support this and I really feel that the approach is suitable.

“I think the opportunity here to present a curriculum for pupils with social, emotional and behavioural needs is much better and greater in a distinct environment fit for that purpose

“I see this as a positive step for Stonehouse, it’s rural with good links to transport, good links to the motorway and other rural routes, I see it as an opportunity for the community for jobs which might come available.”

Councillor Katy Loudon (Cambuslang East), echoed these thoughts, and she said: “Having visited the current school, I agree there is a need for a new facility and I appreciate the officers’ work for getting to this point.

“The current facility is not fit for purpose but I would like to thank the staff for all the work that has been done there.”

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