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Residents can find out more about education centre plans

Residents in Cockett are being invited to a series of events to find out more about plans for a purpose built centre that will dramatically improve education for some of Swansea's most vulnerable young people.

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Earlier this year Swansea Council's Cabinet backed proposals to replace the existing outdated accommodation used by the Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) at various locations across the city with a new state-of-the-art building at Cockett House.

It will see the existing older buildings at the site demolished and replaced with a single storey structure with on-site parking and pick-up and drop-off areas.

Many pupils attending the PRU do so for short periods of time. A pivotal role of the unit is to work with them and their families, providing them with specialist support so that they can return to mainstream schools as quickly as possible.

Any proposed scheme will need to go through a full planning application process.

Three community information events are taking place at the Llwyncelyn Training Centre at the rear of Cockett House so residents can learn more about the proposals, in particular the concept design and time frames.

These take place between 5.30pm and 8pm on Monday (Oct 9), 2.30pm to 6pm on Tuesday (Oct 10) and 5pm to 8pm on Wednesday (Oct 11).

The cost of the new centre is estimated to be £11.8m and Swansea Council will seek match funding from the Welsh Government as part of the council's plans to invest almost £150m in school infrastructure in the city in the coming years.

Cllr Jennifer Raynor, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Lifelong Learning, said: "Swansea Council is committed to setting a gold standard in Wales for our Pupil Referral Unit to ensure that the service meets the diverse needs of some of our most vulnerable young people and children who are at risk of social and educational exclusion.

"If we fail to do this then their chances of future employment and wellbeing are greatly reduced.

"We have spoken with many of these pupils, along with the highly skilled teachers who work with them, and they are very positive about what is being proposed. Now we want to outline our plans to the residents of Cockett and to hear their views."

Once designs have been finalised a new report will go to cabinet before the project proceeds.

Swansea Council is committed to supporting local firms during the construction phase, including where possible suppliers. Contractors will be encouraged to employ local workers and to offer work experience and apprenticeships to young people.

As part of the development of the service there will also be enhanced early intervention and prevention for pupils at risk of exclusion from mainstream schools and the schools will receive extra support to help manage vulnerable children.

For those who cannot attend one of the sessions then they can view the plans and submit their view online at:www.swansea.gov.uk/educationotherthanatschool


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