New Special School to open in North Lincolnshire

Schools, Libraries and Learning
10:29, Wednesday, 29th July 2020

A new Special School is set to open in Scunthorpe providing places for up to 60 pupils aged between 16 and 19 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Pupils will be able to choose from a range of subjects including catering, the arts and technology to build upon their previous learning in core subjects.

Students will be supported with their learning and work experience, enabling them to develop life skills to prepare them for adulthood.

North Lincolnshire Council is working with the Department for Education (DfE) and the Wellspring Academy Trust to develop the new Special School in Scunthorpe for young people.

The government recently announced that up to 3,000 new school places are to be created across 37 new schools for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), providing tailored support and specialist equipment.

It is expected work will start to build the school in summer 2021 on a preferred site on West Common Lane in Scunthorpe, subject to planning approval, and is anticipated to open in September 2022. The site has been chosen due to its close proximity to existing post 16 education providers.

Cllr Rob Waltham, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said:

“It is brilliant the government has chosen North Lincolnshire as one of the locations to create a new Special School. We are committed to ensuring all children and young people in North Lincolnshire get the best opportunities to develop, learn and achieve great outcomes.

“Our ambition is for young people in North Lincolnshire with more complex needs to enjoy a first class sixth form experience in readiness for independence and success into adulthood.”

Cllr Julie Reed, cabinet member for Children and Families, said:

“Having two children with special needs myself, I really appreciate how important it is for us to have the right provision available locally. Young people can continue to live and acquire skills for work in their home communities, close to supportive family and friends.

“In North Lincolnshire we have excellent educational settings and this addition will complement them, giving more choice for parents and students locally.  We are looking forward to working with Wellspring Academy Trust that the Department for Education has chosen to operate the school.”

Wellspring Trust has been appointed by the DfE to run the new school. The trust already operates 25 academies around Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Mark Wilson, CEO of Wellspring Academy Trust, said:

“The fact that the Department for Education has granted Wellspring approval to deliver the Scunthorpe Special Free School, in addition to two further such projects in North Yorkshire and Sheffield, is testament to the trust’s extensive experience and proven ability in creating positive, nurturing and effective learning environments in this sector. Special needs school places are in increasing demand and we are proud to be able to play our part in meeting some of that growing need. This new school will ensure that more pupils can access the high-quality specialist education they need to thrive and will improve the long-term life chances of some of our most vulnerable young people.

“Creating new schools from scratch is no small task but the team at Wellspring has an excellent track record, with eight successful new school builds, including five Free Schools, completed to date. Having the opportunity to develop purpose-built schools specifically designed to support the particular needs of the pupils is great for Wellspring and will be fantastic for those who will be able to attend and their families.”

Five of the new schools will be in Yorkshire and the Humber, providing over 500 places.