A new school for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is set to be built in Dagenham after planning permission was granted.

The Oxlow Bridge School, a joint project with Barking and Dagenham Council and its housing arm Be First, is set to be the borough's largest dedicated facility for children with profound multiple learning difficulties (PMLD).

Scheduled for completion in summer 2025, this 100-place school will span 3,700 meters squared.

The building will be specifically designed to support PMLD pupils aged four to 19 years old.

The design includes features such as a hydrotherapy pool, with a ceiling mounted tracked hoist, a multi-use hall with a built-in trampoline for therapy, and specialist sensory and therapy rooms located centrally for ease of use.

Caroline Harper, deputy managing director at Be First, said: "This new facility will accommodate a significant proportion of the borough’s SEND children and teenagers."

Councillor Elizabeth Kangethe, cabinet member for educational attainment and school improvement at Barking and Dagenham Council, said: "I’m pleased that this state-of-the-art school to support students with SEND has got the go ahead.

"It will greatly increase our capacity to welcome those pupils and ensure they will get the support they need."

Barking and Dagenham Post: The SEND school will have state-of-the-art facilitiesThe SEND school will have state-of-the-art facilities (Image: Be First)

The Oxlow Bridge School project was also welcomed by Richard Emmerson, project director and regional head (east of England and north east London) from The Department for Education.

He said: "Over 80% of those who attend will be unable to walk or will have significantly reduced mobility."

Stewart Brundell, managing director at Willmott Dixon, expressed delight at being a part of a project that will have a positive impact on future pupils.

To support the environment, the development will introduce 33 new trees, hedges, and a green roof, and is designed to reach net zero carbon operation status.

The Oxlow Bridge School is due to open to students in September 2025.