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  • Writer's pictureRegenerating Dudley

Plans for multi-million-pound special school under way

Plans to rebuild Pens Meadow School are taking a step forward with a contractor now appointed to deliver the work.

Dudley Council is investing £15 million in the Pens Meadow School to be built on the site of the former Pensnett High School. Contractor Interclass PLC, a local company based in Wombourne, will be delivering the build with initial site preparatory work to begin this spring.

Once built, the school will provide education for 155 children and young people aged 3 to 19, together with a nursery assessment unit for the borough.

The purpose-built building will deliver better facilities for pupils with complex needs and severe learning difficulties, including autism and those with profound and multiple learning difficulties.

It will have therapy rooms, a hydrotherapy pool, changing facilities, outdoor teaching and play areas, and 14 classrooms where the layouts can be changed for children with additional needs.

There will also be a food technology room with independent living space to prepare pupils for adult life. A rebound room with a large trampoline sunk into the floor will promote exercise and help pupils develop motor skills.

There is a focus on sustainability within the design, with plans for PV panels to turn sunlight into electricity and air source heat pumps to help heat the school.

The new school has been designed by the council’s project design and delivery team in corporate landlord services. Work is expected to start on site in late March/early April.

Construction is programmed to be complete in the summer of 2025. The school is set to be fully operational in January 2026, with a phased transition for some of the pupils to the new site starting in the autumn of 2025.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council said:

"Pens Meadow is already a wonderful special school but to be able to provide a new purpose built site will take the school’s education provision to the next level.
“It is has been designed to significantly improve the education for the children and young people with complex needs and I’m delighted that we now have a contractor in place to deliver this ambitious build.”

Marie Hunter, Headteacher of Pens Meadow School, said:

"Our whole school community is very excited that the building of our new school will begin this spring.
“We have been working closely with the planning teams and are looking forward to seeing the building works progress.
“This will provide our pupils and families with the excellent environment they deserve.”

Des O’Neill, managing director of Interclass, said:

"To secure such a wonderful project right on our doorstep is a true privilege, and we are thrilled to once again be working with Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.
“This learning facility will be fully equipped with the latest technology to accommodate a range of educational needs, and we are immensely proud to create an environment where children can thrive and reach their full potential.”



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