PLANS to expand a successful Salisbury primary school include a resource base for autistic children.

Wiltshire Council education chiefs say Greentrees Primary School in Bishopdown needs to accommodate more children because of the rising birth rate and the construction of 4,000 more homes in and around Salisbury.

They also want the school to become a resource base for up to 14 autistic children, because they say this is the best approach to the education of youngsters who do not need to be in a special school but require a higher level of support than they can obtain in their local school.

Parents of children at Greentrees, staff and other interested parties are currently being consulted on the proposals, which will mean an increase in the school roll from 233 to about 420. The number of new pupils admitted to the school would go up from 34 to about 60 each year.

The school, in Sycamore Drive, opened in 2002 and has eight classes for children aged four to 11. The plan is to expand to become a two-form entry school with a junior department on a separate site 400 metres away, provided by the developer of houses at Hampton Park.

To cope with the increase in children, contingency plans are already in place to increase the size of Pembroke Park Primary School in Devizes Road by 210 places and a new school is set to be built in the housing development at Fugglestone Red.

The consultation period on the Greentrees expansion ends on February 24 with a decision by Wiltshire Council pencilled in for June this year. The Greentrees reception class could expand in September this year and the resource base would open in 2015.