PLANS for a £2.2million upgrade for a special school in Burnley have been given a warm welcome by parents and pupils.

And a leading county councillor is expected to rubberstamp the latest stage of a consultation to increase pupil numbers from 50 to 70 at Holly Grove.

County councillor Matthew Tomlinson, cabinet member for children and young people, has been told that the response from those involved with the Barden Campus school has been uniformly favourable.

Eleven ‘strongly agreed’ with the plans, which would come into effect from this September, another consultee agreed and just one remained neutral.

County officials say the majority of those voicing agreement either represented staff, other nearby schools and Holly Grove parents.

Pupils told education officials that their hall, which they shared with Barden Primary, was not suitable for their needs and that they were looking forward to having one of their own.

The youngsters were also excited at the prospect of a new food technology room and that their after-school club, Merry Berries, would have its own home.

Louise Taylor, interim children’s director, said in a report: “The children can see the benefit of the expansion and are very excited about the possibilities it provides.

“The school councils were clear that they would like to tell the rest of the school about the plans and continue to play a part in the new developments, should they be approved, helping with designing, taking people on tours of the new facilities and helping to make the new school a success.”

The next stage of the consultation for expansion at the school, which offers services for pupils with learning difficulties and those with challenging behaviour, complex health needs and autism, would see statutory notices being published before a final decision could be made by May.