Major plans for new special school in Shrewsbury move forward as new school trust appointed
Major plans for a new special school in Bowbrook, Shrewsbury are set to take a further step forward following Department of Education (DfE) approval for the Youth Engagement Schools Trust (YES Trust) to operate the special free school.
The special school will be co-located on the same site as the new mainstream primary school, which will be operated by The 3-18 Education Trust.
Both schools are planned to open in September 2022.
The special school will cater for children aged 5 to 16 who have special educational needs (SEN) in the area of communication and interaction, and who may also have additional needs in the area of social, emotional and mental health, requiring a level of specialist intervention not ordinarily available within a mainstream school. This is an exciting development that will enable Shropshire children with SEN to access high-quality specialist provision within the Shropshire community, and will support children to prepare effectively for life as an adult.
The YES Trust has significant experience in supporting children with SEN as well as those requiring access to alternative provision, and has successfully established a number of schools and alternative provision settings across Cheshire.
Nic Brindle, CEO of the YES Trust, said:-
“We, as a trust, are delighted to be able to help Shropshire Council provide further specialist support, and are looking forward to working hand in hand with them to develop world class education. We are driven to make sure the specific needs of children and young adults are met locally. As a trust, dedicated to helping those in need get the right support and guidance, we can’t wait to develop a successful curriculum helping all to thrive. I am personally looking forward to crafting a future that changes the lives of these learners, families and local communities, helping them develop aspirations and achieve and thrive in the modern world.”
Karen Bradshaw, Shropshire Council’s executive director of children’s services, said:-
‘’This is an exciting opportunity to work in partnership with the YES Trust to expand and enhance the range of specialist provision already on offer for Shropshire children. Our aim is to ensure that Shropshire children with SEND have, and expect, the same opportunities in life as other children and young people.
“In developing their proposal the YES Trust demonstrated their commitment to working in partnership with Shropshire Council, the Clinical Commissioning Group and parent carers to provide a therapeutic learning environment. We are excited by a curriculum that will be innovative, personalised and meaningful, and which will provide the opportunity to achieve academic excellence at the same time as developing important skills for life.”
Ed Potter, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services, added:
“These two new schools are an important and exciting development as we look to meet the ever-growing demand for school places in that area of Shrewsbury. This really is good news for the whole of Shropshire.
“Approval of the operator for the special school is a vital step towards its opening. I am delighted that the YES Trust have been selected as the DfE’s preferred choice.
“With the number of pupils with SEND requirements – both in Shropshire and nationally – rising steadily, this is a fantastic opportunity to build a school that caters for the needs of these pupils. It will also complement the provision already in place in the county.”
The special school will be funded by the DfE, while the construction of the new primary school will be funded by Shropshire Council.