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(UK) Notts: New special school for 160; 'we are delighted'

May 10, 2024, Newark Advertiser: Nottinghamshire County Council welcomes Department for Education announcement for a new SEND free school

E. Midlands

The county is to benefit from a new special free school as part of an initiative announced by the Department for Education.

Nottinghamshire County Council has welcomed the news of the school, which is set to provide specialist support for 160 pupils, aged four to 19.

Sam Smith, cabinet member for education and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), said: “This is such positive news and very welcomed for the families of children with SEND in Nottinghamshire.”

The Department for Education will fund and build the school, directly supporting Nottinghamshire County Council’s target to create 490 additional SEND school and alternative provision places by 2026, to address the growing demand for more specialist school places across the county.

The county council has been experiencing an increase in requests for education, health and care plans (EHCP), some of which identify the need for specialist school places.

One of the council’s key priorities and commitments is to develop additional local special school capacity over the next three years, to ensure that children and young people with SEND can access learning within their own community.

From 2021 to 2023, the council has delivered an additional 97 specialist educational places, with an investment of more than £5 million [$6.2M]. . . .

The council has also contributed in excess of £2.5 million [$3.1M] to the rebuild of Yeoman Park Academy in Mansfield and is building a new £20m [$25M] special school in the Mansfield area. . . .

 “This new school will offer 160 places for children with SEND and I now look forward to discussions with the Department for Education getting underway as soon possible.” . . . 

 “We are delighted that our bid to Government for another SEND school has been approved. These specialist placements greatly benefit children and families throughout Nottinghamshire.”

The announcement comes just a few weeks after an extra £16m [$20M] funding from the Department for Education for SEND places and alternative provision in Nottinghamshire was confirmed.



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