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200 new special school places announced for children and young people in South Yorkshire

a school classroom with papers on the table, including an orange storage box

A brand-new special school offering 200 places to children and young people with special educational needs has been given the go ahead. 

Sheffield City Council and Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council have worked together to develop a bid for the provision, which was approved by the Secretary of State this week.

This school will provide places for primary and secondary aged pupils with special educational needs (SEND) with 100 school places going towards children and young people in Sheffield.

The school is expected to be built in the north of the city. The next phase of work will see activity taking place to confirm the site, and opening timelines with the Department for Education. 

Councillor Dawn Dale, Chair of Education, Children and Families Policy Committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “It goes without saying that this is fantastic news, and will make a huge difference for children and young people with special educational needs. We’ve been lobbying the Government for some time to increase our places in South Yorkshire so this is a great result for Sheffield and Barnsley.

“We’re really excited about this, the school will help to provide much needed, high quality and local special educational need places for so many across our region. We are looking forward to delivering this school in partnership.”

The proposed school will meet the needs of children with Education Health Care Plans, with needs of Autism Spectrum Condition, alongside supporting children who have learning needs which means mainstream school is not always the best option.

Councillor Trevor Cave, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services at Barnsley Council, said: “Approval for this joint bid from the Department for Education is great news and a crucial step forward in helping build a brighter future for every Barnsley child by helping them reach their potential.

 “This new school will provide a longer-term sustainable option for both authorities that is further supported by the developments and resource provisions with our existing schools.”

The next stages will be to assign an academy, as is required by the process and will be led by the Department for Education alongside both Sheffield and Barnsley local authorities.