Revealed: The 37 special and AP free schools approved by the DfE

Two areas promised special schools have missed out after competitions to find sponsors were unsuccessful.

The Department for Education yesterday approved 37 new special and alternative provision schools to open from September 2022, providing more than 3,000 extra places. (See full list below).

The government had promised to deliver schools in 39 areas to help meet rising demand for SEND places.

But two areas, Bromley and Shropshire, failed to recruit a sponsor to run a school in their region. The government has pledged to re-run the competitions.

Of the schools announced yesterday, two will be solely for pupils who have been or are at risk of exclusion: one run by the YMCA George Williams Academy in Warwickshire, and another run by Rivers of CoE Academy Trust, in Worcestershire.

Three trusts have been given approval to open multiple schools. The Wellspring Academy Trust will run a school in each of north Lincolnshire, north Yorkshire and Sheffield, while the Beckmead Trust and Special Partnership Trust both have two schools.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said “we need to make sure we are putting our most disadvantaged and vulnerable children first, including those with complex needs”.

“These new schools, adding to the network of excellent free schools around the country, will help level up opportunities for children from all backgrounds so they can receive a world-class education.”

The 37 new schools will add to the 44 special and 47 AP free schools already open and the 49 special and 8 AP free schools in the pipeline, the government said. On completion, it takes the total number of special free schools to 128.

But Schools Week revealed the majority of areas rejected last year for new special schools under this wave were facing secondary places shortfalls.

We also revealed how a lack of state-funded places was forcing councils to spend hundreds of millions of pounds to send pupils to independent special schools.



Here’s the full list:

Region                                           Academy trust/sponsor

EssexThe Beckmead Trust
NewhamLearning in Harmony Multi Academy Trust
NorfolkThe Bridge London Trust
SuffolkParadigm Trust
Kingston upon HullHumber Education Trust
LeicestershireCommunity Inclusive Trust
North LincolnshireWellspring Academy Trust
SheffieldWellspring Academy Trust
BuryShaw Education Trust
HaltonYouth Engagement Schools Trust
LeedsCo-op Academies Trust
RochdaleNewbridge Multi Academies Trust
SalfordKings Academy Trust
StockportProspere Learning Trust
WarringtonThe Sovereign Trust
HartlepoolSpark of Genius Academy Trust
North YorkshireWellspring Academy Trust
NorthumberlandProsper Learning Trust
Tees ValleyRiver Tees
HertfordshireJames Marks Academy
OxfordshireThe Gallery Trust
ReadingMaiden Erlegh Trust
BexleyTrinitas Academy Trust
Kingston upon ThamesAmbitious About Autism
Richmond upon ThamesThe Beckmead Trust
CornwallSpecial Partnership Trust
DorsetDelta Education Trust
North SomersetLearn @ MAT
PlymouthSpecial Partnership Trust
SomersetWave MAT
WiltshireReach South
SandwellVictoria Academies Trust
SolihullForward Education Trust
Stoke-on-TrentManor Hall Academy Trust
WarwickshireYMCA George Williams Academy
WorcestershireThe Rivers CoE Academy Trust

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *