The Tes reports that the the new schools will be created to meet specific needs in 19 local authorities, and the specifications have been developed by the local authorities, with the Department for Education.
Applicants have until 24 November to apply to the local authorities, setting out how they meet the criteria.
The DfE said the schools would create 1,600 new special free-school places.
The specifications include a 150-place school in Croydon for children aged 2 to 19 with autism spectrum disorder, and a 200-place school in Bedford.
Schools minister Lord Nash said: “Free schools are providing many good new school places in response to the needs of communities across the country. This process will give local authorities the chance to identify expert organisations with proven track records in SEND provision to run special schools that will help hundreds of children fulfil their potential.”
Toby Young, director of the New Schools Network (NSN), welcomed the opening of the bids.
He said: “We have already seen some outstanding special schools opened through the free-school process, such as the Churchill School in Haverhill, but we need many more. Any specialist groups interested in setting up one of these schools, including one of the 19 already approved, should contact NSN and we will guide them through the process.”
Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link
We now have a Facebook page - pls click to like!