Bromley’s bid for a special free school moves to next stage

Published Friday, 12 April 2019

Bromley Council’s bid to establish a new special school in the borough has been given the green light to proceed to the next stage by the Secretary of State for Education.

The new special free school will be at the heart of a multi-agency centre of excellence expected to provide high quality education, health and care services for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) here in the borough.

Cllr Peter Fortune, Executive Member for Children and Families said: "At present, too many of our children and young people with special educational needs are educated out of the borough or in independent schools because we do not have enough of the right provision locally. Our successful bid for a new school will redress the balance by developing more local provision here in Bromley. We are delighted by the prospect of being able to offer in-borough places to these children and we hope that, over the next few months, an outstanding academy trust will come forward to run the school."   

The good news follows more than 18 months of engagement and consultation by Bromley Council to develop its SEND Strategic Vision and Priorities which identified a gap in educational opportunities and support for children who have Autistic Spectrum Disorder and associated learning difficulties. This prompted the council’s bid to the Department for Education to allow the establishment of a special free school in Bromley.

The Department of Education’s approval in principle has meant that the project can move to the next stage and an overview of the proposed school is currently being advertised so potential sponsors can apply. . The Department for Education will select the provider for the new school and, subsequently enter into the funding agreement with the school.

Those interested in developing the school have until midday on 30 September 2019 to apply and can find the full application guidance and criteria on the DfE website. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/special-free-school-applications.

Interested trusts can download a copy of Bromley’s specification from  https://www.bromley.gov.uk/news/article/470/bromley_free_special_school_bid

This positive announcement comes hard on the heels of news that Bromley’s secondary school place offer well outperformed London averages. Looking to the future, the council would like to make sure that all our children in Bromley can reach their full potential at a school within the borough.

ends

Notes for editors:

The selection of sponsor to run the special free school will be made by the Department for Education, not the Council.