Successful bid for new special school 

Image of a group of children colouring workbook in class

The Department for Education (DfE) has approved the county council’s bid for a new 154-place special free school providing support for pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs.

The project is currently in the very early stages, with the council exploring potential locations in the centre of the county. Design work will be progressed over the coming months, in partnership with the DfE.

Cllr Mrs Patricia Bradwell OBE, executive member for children’s services, said: “This new school has been a long-term aspiration for the council, and we’re very grateful to the DfE for making it possible.”

“Over the last few years, the council has invested around £100m in improving and expanding special schools across the county, meaning more pupils with special educational needs and disabilities can now attend a local school instead of having to travel large distances for their education.”

“This new project will continue that good work, ensuring that all pupils can get a good start in life, with any additional support they might require. I’m sure the school will bring lasting benefits for children and their families, and I look forward to seeing the work move forward.”

The council will be working with the DfE and partner organisations to find a preferred operator for the new free school in the months ahead, after which the DfE will select a multi-academy trust to run it.

Published: 9th May 2024