Thousands of places created in new special free school scheme

Around 3,500 extra school places will be created for SEND pupils or those facing other challenges

A new government initiative will see thousands of new school places being created for children with special educational needs or those at risk of exclusion from mainstream schools.

Every region in the country will benefit from a new school, which includes 37 special free schools and two alternative provision free schools. This will boost choice for parents and provide specialist support and education for pupils with complex needs.

The news follows a commitment from Damian Hinds to give the green light to all high-quality special free school bids last December, when he announced an additional £250m for local authorities for their high needs budget.

Damian Hinds said: “Parents rightly want choice of where their child goes to school and to know that the education and support they receive will ignite that spark of potential that exists in all of us, so they can go on and succeed.‎

“We want every school to be a school for children with special educational needs and disabilities. That’s why we are investing significant funding into Special Education Needs units attached to mainstream schools and in additional support so children with education, health and care plans can access mainstream education.

“But we recognise some children require more specialist support. These new special free schools and alternative provision schools will make sure that more complex needs can be provided to help support every child to have a quality education.”

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