Two new special free schools due to open September 2020

120 new school places for pupils with additional and complex need will be created as two special free schools have been given the green light to open.

Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi has announced that the two new specialist schools will be built in Essex and Hounslow, helping to meet the local need for school places for children with some of the most complex social, emotional and mental health needs.

It follows the publication of a package of support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in December, when the Education Secretary Damian Hinds announced an extra £350 million funding to provide them with specialist support and tailored facilities, and boosting the school choice available for parents.

The school in Hounslow will provide 64 specialist places for pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs, aged between 11 and 19-years-old. It will be run by Orchard Hill College Academy Trust.

The school in Chelmsford, Essex will be built on the site of the former St Peter’s College, to offer 64 places to pupils aged seven to 16 who have severe and complex social, emotional and mental health needs. It will be run by the Beckmead Trust, which is in the process of becoming a Multi-Academy Trust with the Beckmead Family of Schools, a special school in Croydon rated outstanding by Ofsted.

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