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(UK) BBC: 37 new special schools; 49 more being planned

Updated: Aug 5, 2020

July 20, 2020, BBC: Thousands of new special school places announced https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-53419912 Thousands of new school places will be created for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) with 35 new free special schools, the government has announced. They will provide tailored support and specialist equipment such as sensory appliances and communication aids. The schools are expected to be built by September 2022, the Department for Education (DfE) said…. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "Now more than ever we need to make sure we are putting our most disadvantaged and vulnerable children first, including those with complex needs." He said he had approved 33 school trusts to open and run 37 new schools in England, set to benefit up to 3,000 students. Of these, 35 will provide support and teaching for pupils with complex needs such as autism, severe learning difficulties or mental health conditions. The remaining two will be for children who have been, or are at risk of, being excluded from school to "level up their educational outcomes"…. Cllr UllaKarin Clark, Wokingham's executive member for children's services, said the creation of the new school would provide a "wonderful opportunity" for children with special needs to have state of the art specialised facilities close to home. She said: "We know that keeping children as close to home as possible has a beneficial impact on their learning and development, so having this new school in the borough is excellent news for us." Dorset will also be home to one of the newly approved special schools. It comes after the council was forced to pay thousands of pounds to a boy with autism after he was left without proper education for two years. The Government said an additional 49 special schools and eight alternative provision (AP) free schools, education outside of a school setting, were planned, bringing the total number of special free schools to 128 once completed. Of the new free schools:  Three will be in the North East, providing more than 200 places in total, mostly for children with social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH)  Six will be in the North West, providing more than 400 places, including for children with SEMH, Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Severe Learning Difficulty (SLD) and speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)  Five will be in Yorkshire and the Humber, providing more than 500 places including for children with SEMH, ASD, SLD, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) and SLCN  One will be in the East Midlands, providing 50 places for children with SEMH  Three will be in the West Midlands, providing about 300 places including for children with SEMH, ASD and Multiple Learning Difficulties (MLD)  Three will be in the East of England, providing more than 300 places including for children with SEMH, ASD and SLCN  Four will be in London, providing more than 300 places including for children with SEMH, ASD and SLCN;  Four will be in the South East, providing more than 300 places including for children with SEMH and ASD;  Six will be in the South West, providing 500 places including for children with SEMH, ASD, Complex Learning Difficulties (CLD) and SLCN  Two Alternative Provision free schools will provide more than 100 places in the West Midlands for children who have been, or are at risk of being, excluded from mainstream education

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