PLANS to extend a school’s special educational needs provision to include a larger classroom, sensory, therapy and group teaching rooms are recommended to be approved.

A planning application to Blackburn with Darwen Council for the new facilities at St Cuthbert’s Church of England Primary School in St Alban’s Road, Darwen is due to go before the planning and highways committee later this month.

Case planning officer John Wilson is recommending committee members grant permission for the scheme, which would allow the school to cater for an additional three to five pupils and if possible to accommodate additional pupils for future proofing.

A review prior to plans being lodged determined that break out areas, sensory, therapy and group teaching rooms and an outdoor play zone was also needed.

Earlier this year, the council detailed how £180,000 from a £616,000 SEN grant would be used to finance the scheme.

The school currently caters for 221 students from ages 4-11, with 13 SEN pupils.

A design and access statement submitted as part of the application reads: "The current SEN classroom is approximately 61 m2 and has an L-shaped layout.

"This space is sufficient for the existing thirteen pupils although there is no allowance for break out, therapy, group teaching, sensory provisions and SEN office.

"Whilst this area could be refurbished, it is considered that all the facilities needed cannot be accommodated within this area / footprint.

"The application of option 2 from BwD’s Feasibility Study seeks to provide a new SEN classroom as an extension of an existing class base plus internal alterations to create sensory and therapy rooms, an office, new staff toilet facilities and a primary hygiene suite."