Drop-in sessions will be held for parents about proposals to increase the number of places at specialist schools on the Isle of Wight.

It comes as the number of Island children needing an education, health and care plan has more than doubled in the last nine years, increasing pressure for places in special schools and outside provision, the Isle of Wight Council has revealed.

Last week the authority unveiled plans to use the former Studio School in East Cowes, to provide a 'satellite' site for St George's School in Newport, creating an extra 20 places for pupils with autism or social, emotional and mental health conditions.

It is also looking to double the provision at Greenmount Primary School, in Ryde, for autistic children, from six to 12.

Isle of Wight County Press: The former Studio School in East Cowes.The former Studio School in East Cowes. (Image: Isle of Wight County Press)

Now, parents, staff and the community can find out more at drop-in sessions held in the coming weeks.

To hear more about the proposals for Greenmount Primary, a session is being held on Tuesday, March 19 at the school on St Vincent's Road, Ryde between 2.30pm and 5pm.

For the proposals for St George's School, two sessions will be held: one on Friday, March 15 at the school in Newport, between 2pm and 4.30pm; the other will be on Friday, April 5 between 10am and 11.30am at the Studio School site in East Cowes.

Feedback from the sessions and any received through the public consultation — which runs until April 19 — will be considered.

You can comment on the proposals be emailing strategic.planning@iow.gov.uk or send a letter to County Hall in Newport for the strategic education development team.

St George's has said it is a really exciting opportunity for the school and it is very pleased to be part of the new development.

The school currently has the capacity for 188 pupils aged 11 to 19 with complex learning difficulties, which could be bumped to 208 with the new provision in East Cowes.

If the changes are approved the new places for pupils with special educational needs will be available from September 2024.

It is part of the council's bigger plan to create 150 new places for children with special educational needs across the Island in the next two years.