Specialist schools to open and new equipment provided in £100m windfall

Two special schools in the South East have been told they can open, providing more than 120 new places for pupils with additional and complex needs.

The two new schools will be built
in Essex and Hounslow, helping to meet the local need for school places for
children with some of the most complex social, emotional and mental health

It follows the publication of a package of
support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in
December, when the Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, announced an extra £350
million funding to provide them with specialist support and tailored facilities.

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It included £100m to create
more specialist places in mainstream schools, colleges and special schools.
This could include more state-of-the-art facilities, such as sensory rooms and
specialist equipment.

The two special free
schools due to open in September 2020 include one in Hounslow, providing 64
specialist places for pupils.

The other is in
Chelmsford, Essex, to offering 64 places to pupils aged seven to 16 who have
severe and complex social, emotional and mental health needs.

Councils across the UK
will also receive an additional £250 million in their high needs budgets over
the next two years.

Councillor Tom Bruce,
Cabinet Member for Education, Children Services and Youth Services, Hounslow
Council, said: “We’re delighted to be given the opportunity to open a new
special school in Hounslow. The number of children diagnosed with having
special educational needs and disabilities has been rising in recent years.

“This new school will
help meet the increased demand for school places and will support many children
in our borough, ensuring that they receive the high quality education that they

Councillor Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “We are delighted that the Beckmead Trust has been appointed by the Department for Education to open a new special school in Chelmsford and pleased to have been able to work in partnership with both organisations to make the site available.

“The new school will ensure pupils with a range of complex needs are fully supported within an appropriate environment and help to ensure that every child in the county is given the best chance to thrive. This is fantastic news for Essex and I look forward to the official opening of the new school.”

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