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Solihull Council’s proposed special free school

Information for proposers

On 11 March 2019, the secretary of state for education approved the bid by Solihull Council to establish a special free school. The next stage in the process is to advertise the opportunity for potential trusts to apply to establish the new school. The deadline for trust applications is midday on 30 September 2019, after which applications will be assessed and strong applicants will be interviewed. Details of how to apply can be found on the DFE website.

Apply to open a special or alternative provision free school [DFE]

Our SEND school place commissioning strategy has identified autism as our main priority for investment, as this is the key gap in our provision. For those pupils with more complex needs, creating a new special free school will add additional provision to meet the growing demand for places as well as extend local choice and complete the breadth of provision available for pupils with autism.

The school at the heart of this project will cater for pupils with a diagnosis of autism and associated high-level social emotional and mental health needs. Pupils may have co-occurring needs but these will be secondary to the autism in their impact on pupils’ development and learning needs. The detailed specification for the proposed school is available on this page.

As part of our trust competition stage we are arranging a stakeholder engagement event where you can find out more information about our proposed school and ask questions of key Solihull Council officers.

You can register your interest in our special free school, receive an invite to our engagement event or ask a question about our proposal or the context in Solihull by using the online form on the main menu of this page.  If you prefer you can email specialfreeschool@solihull.gov.uk.  Questions asked by potential proposers will be published on this website along with our response.

As a potential proposer for our school you should also register your interest with the New Schools Network. They can be contacted on info@newschoolsnetwork.org.