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***(UK) Solihull gets new school for "rapidly increasing number of autistic children"

Mar 14, 2019, Solihull Observer: New autism free school in Solihull could open in two years https://solihullobserver.co.uk/news/new-solihull-free-school-for-autistic-children-could-open-in-two-years/ A NEW free school for vulnerable children with autism in Solihull will ‘likely open’ in two years. Solihull Council has been given the green light by the government’s Department for Education to establish the school to support the rapidly increasing number of autistic children in the borough. The new school, which the council says is likely to be open in two years, will have up to 100 places for children and young people with autism aged between seven and 16 years old. The council’s preferred option is for a dual site school with locations to cater to children in both the north and south of Solihull. … Councillor Ken Meeson, cabinet member for children, education and skills, said: “We know we have comparatively high rates of autism diagnosis in the borough. … “For those pupils with more complex needs, creating a special free school will mean we can better meet current and future demand for places, whilst also extending local choice. … … Solihull has 1,444 pupils with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)…. In January last year, 558 (nearly two fifths) of Solihull pupils with an EHCP have autism as their primary need, this is forecast to rise by 296 (over a half) by 2023. … Education secretary Damian Hinds said: “We want every school to be a school for children with special educational needs and disabilities. “But we recognise some children require more specialist support. “These new special free schools and alternative provision schools will make sure that more complex needs can be provided to help support every child to have a quality education.” …