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Final approval sought on new centre for vulnerable pupils

PLANS for a brand new centre that will help transform education for some of Swansea's most vulnerable young people are set to take another step forward.

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Swansea Council's cabinet members are being asked for final approval for a new home for the EOTAS (Education other than at School) service and to appoint a contractor at a meeting next Thursday.

Subject to confirmation of 50% funding from the Welsh Government the new build at Swansea Council's Cockett House site will replace existing and outdated pupil referral accommodation that is currently scattered at various locations across the city.

Cllr Jennifer Raynor, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Education Improvement, Learning and Skills, said: "Since the outset of this project we have said we are determined to build on the existing good work already being done in Swansea to set a gold standard for the rest of Wales.

"Pupils who will attend the centre have a wide range of ages and emotional and behavioural difficulties and our aim, wherever possible, is to support these learners to return to mainstream education.

"If their needs are not fully addressed then their chances of employment and wellbeing are greatly reduced. Our investment in this service is an investment in their future."

A pivotal part of the plans would also see the development of a "halfway house" setting which will support the rapid reintegration of pupils experiencing emotional and behavioural difficulties back into mainstream schools.

Swansea Council's planning committee has already agreed to the plans which also include an improved access route to the site on Cockett Road.

The service, which currently runs from three sites at Brondeg House in Manselton, the Step-Ahead site in Cockett and the Arfryn Education Centre in Penlan, will be accommodated in one building with four distinct areas according to individuals' needs.

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