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(UK) England: 33 new special schools planned; seven set to open

Aug 23, 2023, Local Government: Seven new special free schools announced
Seven new special free schools are set to open amid a critical shortage of places for pupils with special educational needs, the Government has announced.

The Department for Education said in March that 33 special free schools would be created across the country to help local authorities with over-stretched SEND budgets. A free school in Bury was also approved in May.

The seven new schools, which were approved through the Safety Valve application route, will provide places to over 1,000 more children and young people with SEND in Cambridgeshire, Kent, Merton and Norfolk.

Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing, Claire Coutinho said: ‘Earlier this year our Improvement Plan set out systemic reforms to make sure every child and young person gets consistently high-quality support, no matter where in the country they live.

‘Today we’re making sure that those reforms are informed by the experiences of real families, up and down the country, and creating the thousands of new places at specialist schools and in staff training courses that are needed to make sure our plan is a success.’


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