MAJOR plans to expand a specialist school for children with additional needs have been approved.

Members of Wokingham Borough Council's (WBC) executive have given the green light to upgrade Addington School in Woodley.

The £4.4m project will allow more children with special educational needs to be educated closer to home.

Currently, the school serves just over 200 children and holds an 'Outstanding' rating from Ofsted.

Councillor Shahid Younis, deputy executive member for Children's Services, said: “Addington is an exceptionally well-run school and provides first-rate education thanks to its dedicated headteacher, staff and supportive parents.

“An expansion would allow us to educate more of the borough’s children locally.

"We currently send far too many of our children out of the borough to expensive special schools elsewhere.

"Expanding Addington will mean more of our children can benefit from this outstanding provision, have a better quality of family life, and it will also save taxpayers money in the longer term.”

The decision of the executive team's decision on January 31 now means WBC can work with the school and residents about a planning application.

Around 130 children from the borough needing a special school placement are currently educated outside.

These placements and the associated travel costs can be particularly expensive, as well as being a strain on the children and their families.