A former children’s centre in east Reading is set to be transformed into a special education needs (SEN) college for 11 to 18 year olds.

The vacant Hamilton Centre, at 135 Bulmershe Road, could be the new home for Phoenix College (recently renamed Hamilton School), currently based on Christchurch Road, if the plans are approved next week.

Phoenix College recently joined the Maiden Erleigh Trust. It was renamed Hamilton School and became a special academy on January 1.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) has applied for planning permission after winning provisional government funding for the project.

READ MORE: Yates allowed by Reading Borough Council to keep licence with reduced hours

The building, located near to three other schools, will be refurbished and extended to accommodate 64 students.

Councillor Ashley Pearce, lead member for Education, said: “I would like to stress my wholehearted support for this application.

“Many of our students here have complex needs, difficult backgrounds and lots are entitled to pupil premium funding, with Phoenix taking them after they have struggled in mainstream schooling.

“Its current building is not fit for purpose for education and has recently had some emergency repairs to make it usable for students in the short term, but it cannot be home to some of our most vulnerable young people going forward.

“With a recent disappointing Ofsted result, the school has recently become an academy, and with this new site, with new oversight of the School, we have a great opportunity to make Phoenix the education setting that these young people deserve.

READ MORE: Canal Way playground in east Reading to be approved at Planning meeting

“With the school helping 50 of Reading’s most vulnerable students, this planning application must pass to ensure that the site is fit for purpose and that these students get the support they deserve.”

Phoenix College is a special school for young people with Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) issues who have Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).

The college will be located next to three other schools: Maiden Erlegh, the UTC and Alfred Sutton.

RBC won provisional funding from the Education Skills Funding Agency’s Priority Schools Building Programme to build the school.

The council's Planning Applications committee will vote on the plan next week (Wednesday, February 5).