Organisation sought for Free School

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High quality organisation sought for special educational needs school

Cheshire East Council, in partnership with the Department for Education (DfE), has launched a search to find a high quality organisation to run a new special free school in the borough.

It is anticipated that applications will be received from organisations such as multi-academy trusts and specialist charitable groups.

The council is one of only 19 local authorities in the country which are inviting applications to build and run a new special free school. More than 1,600 school places are being created as part of this new initiative.

This is an important step to expand the authority's range of provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) within Cheshire East. It is part of a wider analysis of where SEND school places are required across the borough, in order to reduce travel to out of borough schools.

The council has identified a proposed site — the former Lodgefields School in Crewe — for the construction of a new school and is now inviting applications as part of a significant national drive.

Councillor George Hayes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: "Reducing the number of children that are being educated in out of borough special educational needs schools is a priority for us.

"We are committed to an ambitious schools development programme that delivers innovation, choice and higher standards for parents.

"Local authorities need to have a broad range of provision to meet the special educational needs of children and young people in their area so that, regardless of individuals' needs, they all have an opportunity to make good progress. This is what we are determined to do and this is what we will aim to achieve."

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