Work on £11.4m new premises for Abbey Hill School and Performing Arts College could start next March, subject to the outcome of formal consultation about the plan.
Members of Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s cabinet are next week (26 July) expected to approve the next stage of consultation, after informal discussions with the school, parents and wider community prompted widespread support.
Depending on the feedback, the college - rated as “outstanding” by OfSTED - would move from its existing Bucknall home to the former high school site in Box Lane, Longton.
Catering for up to 220 children from across the city who have autism, communication and interaction difficulties, or cognition and learning needs, the college was identified under the Building Schools for the Future Programme (BSF) as appropriate for a new build on a larger site.
The proposals would also boost the sports facilities available to the school’s pupils and to the local community.
Councillor Ruth Rosenau, the city council’s cabinet member for Regeneration, Planning and Transportation, said: “The college has a fantastic reputation, both locally and regionally, and the proposed move is by far the best option in terms of its long-term future and value for money.
“The Building Schools for the Future programme aims to establish a city where young people have the skills, qualifications and aspirations to take advantage of the new job opportunities arising from Stoke-on-Trent’s regeneration.
“The move to Longton would allow the school to create the perfect environment for 21st century learning and, in line with our Mandate for Change, meet the pupils' needs and play a vital part in the wider regeneration of the city."
The report to next week’s cabinet meeting confirms that transport to the new site would be provided for pupils who live more than two miles away.
Formal consultation is expected to start in September, and the responses considered by cabinet members in November. Work on site could potentially start in March 2013, in time for the school to open there in September 2014.