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(UK) Greenwich: 'Students...need to be in special schools...there are not the places for them'

July 26, 2018, News Shopper: Greenwich Council considers free school bid amid pressure for places http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/16376767.greenwich-council-considers-free-school-bid-amid-pressure-for-places/ Councillors have debated bidding for a new specialist free school in Greenwich to deal with increasing pressure for pupil places. It’s estimated there will need to be about 200 more special needs places available for pupils by 2022. The council’s top team met to discuss plans to deal with growing pressure for school places in the borough. … Council leader Dan Thorpe and the cabinet agreed to a U-turn on the planned expansion of Boxgrove Primary School in Abbey Wood, which was first touted in 2013, and to use the funds for that to instead increase provisions for SEND (special educational needs) pupils there. The council also considered bidding to the Department of Education to build a new special educational free school…. David Gardner, cabinet member for education, said demand has to be met through free schools and academies, despite the council’s opposition. “A number of heads have said to me that students they have need to be in special schools but there are not the places for them,” Cllr Gardner said….