CLF formally appointed as operator of new SEMH Special School

Cabot Learning Federation (CLF) has now completed its consultation exercise for a new Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) Special School in North Somerset. 

CLF was invited by the Department for Education (DfE) to operate the new school, and as a result of the positive outcome of the consultation, has been appointed as the operator. 

The new school will initially open at a temporary site in Nailsea from September 2022 and, subject to the relevant planning consents, in a new purpose-built school in Churchill from September 2024. 

The new school will have an initial intake of around 22 secondary pupils in a temporary building in Pound Lane, Nailsea, growing to 65 children from ages 5 to 16 in the permanent purpose-built school in Churchill.  

The new school for children with an EHCP aims to ‘level up’ educational outcomes and keep children engaged in learning through specialist facilities and learning programmes. With a focus on creative arts, artisanship and agriculture, children engaging with the school will discover their talents within an individualised curriculum that focuses on developing strengths and building individual networks.   

The Consultation

As part of the funding agreement, CLF consulted in April and May with stakeholders, including the local community, about the planned education offer and whether CLF should be the designated operator. 

The formal consultation asked respondents to anonymously answer the following questions: 

·      Their postcode 

·      Which category of respondent best suits them from: 

o       Potential parent/carer 

o       Local resident in North Somerset 

o       Education sector employee 

o       Charitable sector employee 

o       Other (please specify):  

o       Prefer not to say 

·      Whether they support the proposed CLF SEMH educational offer, with a focus on creative arts, artisanship and agriculture? (Yes/No) 

·      Whether they agree that CLF should enter into a Funding Agreement with the Department for Education in order to open the new SEMH Special School? (Yes/No) 

·      An opportunity to provide further feedback on the consultation via a text box. 

A total of 32 responses were received and of those, 84% supported both the education offer and that the CLF should enter into a Funding Agreement with the Department for Education in order to open the new SEMH Special School, demonstrating a clear majority in favour of CLF opening the school.  

Planning Application

Comments provided by local residents relevant to the planning process have been shared with the development team to inform the creation of the planning application. 

Anyone wishing to review and provide feedback on the plans for the permanent site can attend a public consultation evening on July 11 hosted by the developer, Bowmer + Kirkland. To find out more information about the event and register to attend, visit