AN ‘outstanding’ Bolton school is set to expand as demand for places grows.

Green Fold Special School is projecting to have an extra five classes of children by 2023 as numbers of pupils needing a place continues to grow.

The school, part of The Orchards Federation, is co-located with Cherry Tree Primary School and The Orchards Nursery School.

The school operates across three sites on in Farnworth and Little Lever and provides specialist education for children with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Since headteacher Gary Anders joined Green Fold in 2016, the school has gone from 96 pupils and 12 classes, to 140 pupils and 18 classes.

Its projected growth means a further five classes could be formed by 2023.

To accommodate the increase in numbers, one of the school’s sites on Highfield Road or Highfield Drive in Farnworth will be expanded.

Architects have been commissioned by the local authority’s planning team to ascertain which site is most suitable for the proposed expansion, with works are scheduled to begin in the summe

Mr Anders said: “It is an exciting time for Green Fold Specialist School as we plan the expansion for one of our sites. We now have an excellent leadership team in place who are ready to support this exponential growth.

“The new facilities will allow us to increase our intake of pupils with ASD and continue to deliver the highest quality of specialist education to children in the area.”

Earlier this week the school was celebrating being part of the National Tutoring Programme, the only specialist school to get such an honour.

Under the initiative the school had benefitted from two extra members of staff to support students with complex needs.