New SEND free school

East Riding of Yorkshire Council has received approval from the secretary of state today (2 March 2023) for our bid to establish a new special free school in the county. This is fantastic news for children, young people and families in the East Riding and work is now underway with the Department for Education (DfE) on identifying the successful trust who will run the school.

About the School

The school will be for children and young people with complex special educational needs in the areas of:

  • Social Emotional and Mental Health Needs (SEMH), which is our largest area of need in East Riding with 30.7 per cent of our children and young people with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) having this as their primary identified need. East Riding currently maintains 3081 EHCPs as of 2 March 2023.
  • The school will be for up to 120 pupils and include primary, secondary and post-16 places.
  • Pupils at the school will have an EHCP and will have been assessed as requiring this type of school.

The development of the special free school is an important part of East Riding of Yorkshire's strategic plan for developing enough special school places to meet need within the county and was highlighted as a key area of development in the Area SEND inspection in October 2021.The brand new, purpose built school, will be built by the Department for Education (DfE) and will be located at the former St Anne's School site in Welton and will significantly increase the specialist provision for East Riding children and young people.

Receiving approval for our bid to develop a new SEND free school is the first stage of the process, as under existing Government legislation, all new free schools must be academies and plans are already in place to identify an academy trust to operate the school. The council has committed to provide the site, and will work with the DfE, parents and carers and partners to design the school which will be built by the DfE, and subject to planning approval.

Councillor Victoria Aitken, portfolio for children's education, health and wellbeing at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "Approval for our bid from the Department for Education is great news and a crucial step forward in providing a range of special school provision for some of the East Riding's most vulnerable children and young people.

"The council and its partners are committed to supporting our children and young people with SEND/SEMH in achieving their ambitions and leading independent and fulfilling lives. Integral to this is the ability for our children to be able to live and be educated within the East Riding.

"The opening of this new special free school will create an outstanding learning and nurturing environment which will engage our children and young people, develop their confidence and resilience and provide them with a life-transforming education.

"While it is brilliant news that 120 new specialist places are being created, we will not stop fighting for the funding that will let us create more facilities which will mean our children and young people can access the support they need within their own local area which will go some way to improving their lives as well as those of their families and carers."

East Riding is one of 33 bids which have been approved nationally, competition was high.

Please follow the link below to see which bids have been approved nationally:

GOV.UK - Successful local authority applications to open a special free school: 2022 (external website)

On Monday 27 March 2023 we held an information event for academy trusts to provide information about the East Riding of Yorkshire and the process for applying to be the academy trust to run our new school. Please find the video recording of this information event and PowerPoint presentation below.

View the free school event information presentation (external website)

Download the free school event presentation (pdf 00kb)

Special Free Schools: Phase 2 Next Steps: Supporting Documents

East Riding of Yorkshire Special Free School - contextual information for applicant groups applying to open a new Special Free School (pdf 00kb)

East Riding of Yorkshire Special Free School Specification (pdf 00kb)

Create Schools Support Presentation

Current provision

Please visit the Choosing a school page for more information on current provision.

Post-16 places

Please visit the Post-16 provision page for more information on Post-16 places.

Supported internships

Please visit the Supported internships page for more information.

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