Autism centre to be built at new £14.5m Tibshelf School

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A specialist centre for children with autism is to form part of a new school being built in Derbyshire.

Derbyshire County Council has approved plans for the facility at the £14.5m Tibshelf Community School which is due to open in January 2014.

The centre will feature specialised teaching staff working with up to 15 autistic pupils aged 11-16.

The unit is designed to give children from the autism unit at Pilsley Primary School a secondary school option.

Mike Longden, cabinet member for education, said Tibshelf Community School had expressed interest in housing a specialist autism centre when the county council agreed to open the new unit at Pilsley two years ago.

Its existing building was not deemed suitable but the authority has agreed the facility can be incorporated into the new school's design.

He said: "The children will have specialist attention on one hand - dedicated teaching staff with the skills to deal with these special needs.

"But equally they will have the provision of a good secondary school that will allow them to be educated within the mainstream structure."

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