The government has announced thousands of new special school places

Today (20 July) the UK Government announced thousands of new special school places for children with special educational needs alongside 35 new free special schools.

Expected to be built by September 2022, the specialist schools will provide tailored support and specialist equipment for students.


The schools and places will be open to some of the most vulnerable children. Already, 33 school trusts have been approved to open and run 37 new schools in England.

“Now more than ever we need to make sure we are putting our most disadvantaged and vulnerable children first, including those with complex needs,” commented Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson.

The move is set to benefit 3,000 students. Similarly, 35 of the new schools will provide support and teaching for autistic students, pupils with severe learning disabilities or mental health conditions.

Mr Williamson continued: “I also want to transform the experience of children who have been permanently excluded or are at risk of being removed from the classroom.”


The new free schools will see three in the North East of England, providing more than 200 places; six in the North West, providing more than 400 places; five will be in Yorkshire and Humber; three in the West Midlands with one school in the East Midlands; four schools will be in London with another four schools in the South East. 

Additional schools include three opening in the East of England, six in the South West of England and two Alternative Provision free schools will be created with 100 places in the West Midlands.

All the schools will cover a range of needs including profound and multiple learning difficulties, speech, language and communication needs alongside support for children with social, emotional and mental health needs.

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