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(UK) N. Yorkshire: 11th special school approved; 350 MORE places needed next 5 yrs

Mar 2, 2023, Hambleton Today: Government approves bid for new special school in Northallerton

N. England

A new special school could be opened on the former Northallerton School site after a bid was approved today by the Government.

North Yorkshire County Council made the bid to the Department for Education’s (DfE) Special Free School programme to help to address the need for more provision for young people with social, emotional and mental health needs.

Its success – part of an announcement by the DfE of the approval of 33 new special free schools – is a move closer to an urgently needed specialist education centre for families in the Hambleton and Richmondshire area.

The county council currently has ten special schools across the county serving young people with significant levels of need, plus targeted mainstream provision attached to ten mainstream schools.

However, it is estimated an additional 350 specialist places will be needed in North Yorkshire in the next five years.

Officials say the issue is particularly pressing in Hambleton and Richmondshire, where there are currently no specialist schools able to offer this form of education….

The new school will cater for about 120 pupils aged from eight to 16 years….

The next stage of the process will see the council work alongside the DfE in seeking proposals from organisations interested in establishing and running the new school.

The county council’s executive member for education and skills, Cllr Annabel Wilkinson, said: “This is exciting news for North Yorkshire, especially communities in the Hambleton and Richmondshire areas. This new free school will provide families and young people with a much-needed facility on their doorstep.

“Currently pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs in the area have to travel significant distances to access appropriate provision, placing stress on them and their families.

“We aim to open the school as soon as possible subject to the requirements of the process established by the DfE under which we will, in due course, seek proposals from organisations interested in establishing and running the new school.”

In the meantime, any organisation interested in learning more about the application process should contact Create: Schools, the DfE’s supplier of support to free school applicants, which offers support and guidance at all stages of the application process.


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