Multi-million-pound plans have been unveiled which will create 86 new special education places across the county.

The proposals would see dozens more SEND children able to secure the specialist support they need.

The new places are set to be split across six Norfolk sites, with some catering to primary age children and others secondary.

The majority of these places will be created by the Wensum Trust, which is planning to provide purpose-built bases for children with autism.

Each of these bases will have 25 spaces and will be built at Acle Academy and Alderman Peel High, in Wells-next-the-Sea.

Twenty of the new spaces will be provided by the Inspiration Trust, which plans to expand its existing autism bases in Thetford, Cromer and at the Hewett in Norwich.

And the Corvus Education Trust is planning to build a new 16-place support base for children with social, emotional and mental health needs at its schools in Watton.

The 86 new spaces will be on top of 30 agreed earlier this year in Bradwell and Stalham.

Daniel Elmer, deputy cabinet member for children's services at Norfolk County Council, said: "It is excellent to see the momentum with which we have been able to support the provision of new special education spaces at mainstream schools across the county.

“In just a matter of months, we have seen proposals for 116 much-needed new places for children of a range of ages and a variety of needs thanks to partnerships between the county council, schools, and education trusts.

“I hope this increased capacity at multiple locations across Norfolk will make a real difference to children and young people with SEND and their families.”

The plans have been cautiously welcomed by opposition councillors, who fear the county will still have insufficient supply.

Maxine Webb, Labour county councillor, said: "With the system in crisis I welcome all new SEND provision in the county. But even if these places are agreed, there will still be a chronic shortage.

"We still need, and await, news of the fourth special school and the increase in resource and support in mainstream schools that were promised in the £120m SEND transformation announced four years ago."