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Revealed: Locations of 16 new special schools

The locations of 16 new special schools have been revealed, as ministers also named seven academy trusts selected to run seven other specialist settings across England.

At the spring budget, chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced £105 million in capital cash to open 15 new special free schools.

Today the government revised that number up to 16 – and has announced where each one will be.

Ministers have also confirmed the names of trusts selected to run seven other special schools, which had also already been announced.

But free schools take years to open, meaning current capacity woes will not be addressed immediately by the proposals.

Gillian Keegan

Education secretary Gillian Keegan said special schools “can truly transform children’s lives, enabling pupils with special education needs and disabilities to thrive in environments that meet their needs”.

“I know how hard it can be for families trying to navigate the SEND system, and the creation of more brilliant special schools is just one part of our plan to make sure every family and every child get the right support, in the right place at the right time.” 

But Pepe Di’Iasio, general secretary of the ASCL leaders’ union, said “while this investment in new special schools is very welcome, we are worried that it is too little too late”.

“Government figures show that around two-thirds of special schools are at or over capacity, but these new special schools are unlikely to be up and running for several years.

“The pressure on places is happening right now and the lack of capacity in the system is the result of the government’s underinvestment in schools over the past 14 years.”

The areas getting 16 new free schools 

  • Nottinghamshire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Newham
  • Enfield
  • Harrow
  • Bury
  • Westmorland and Furness
  • Hampshire
  • Surrey
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
  • Herefordshire
  • Stoke on Trent
  • Walsall
  • Solihull
  • East Riding of Yorkshire

The trusts appointed to run 7 other special schools

  • Meridian Trust in Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire
  • Lime Trust in March, Cambridgeshire
  • Fortis Trust in Whitstable, Kent
  • Leigh Academies Trust in Swanley, Kent
  • Orchard Hill College Academy Trust, Merton
  • Eastern Learning Alliance in Downham Market, Norfolk
  • Unity Schools Partnership in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

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