Bids open to create 19 new free schools for children with SEND

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.”

Read more Bids open to create 19 new free schools for children with SEND

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  1. Oh – guess what, there used to be specialist ‘special needs’ schools – it makes far more sense to have the specialist resources in a few dedicated places……. Then the politicians decided that this was inappropriate and not sufficiently inclusive, so all children suffered – the ‘normal’ children by having their education disrupted and the ‘special needs’ children by having to go without the help they needed.

    • Except that the ‘specialist resources in a few dedicated places’ were backed up by the resources held centrally by the local authority. Now that the LA role is being destroyed by the government’s idiotic academisation/privatisation process the schools will be on their own and most will fail except for the ones who get to charge huge fees.

  2. Victoria Jaquiss

    Free schools – unaccountable disasters; free schools with additional needs – unaccountable disasters for vulnerable children. This govt is dead man/woman walking determined to leave us in chaos before it loses its majority along with the plot.

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