GOVERNMENT investment in extra special school places has been welcomed by Oxfordshire County Council.

The Government announced on Sunday that across the UK, up to 3,000 extra places will be created for pupils with the most complex needs.

The announcement includes funding for a new special school in Didcot, although a confirmed opening date for this is not available at the moment.

The school will however be situated in Valley Park, west of the Great Western Park housing estate.

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County councillor Lorraine Lindsay-Gale, cabinet member for education and cultural services, said: “Oxfordshire County Council welcomes this central government investment into additional special school places for pupils with autism spectrum disorder, and social, emotional and mental health difficulties.

“Plans are well advanced for construction of a new special school at Bloxham Grove, near Banbury, and to construct a new and enlarged special school for the city’s Orion Academy.

“These developments have been made possible through collaboration with local educational partners and with support from the Department for Education, and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

“We look forward to updating residents on these exciting projects, delivering on our commitment to provide first class education for the county’s children and young people.”

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Now more than ever we need to make sure we are putting our most disadvantaged and vulnerable children first, including those with complex needs.”