CLF to open new special school in North Somerset

Cabot Learning Federation multi academy trust is delighted to announce it will be opening a new special school for children and young people with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs.

Initially based in temporary accommodation in Pound Lane, Nailsea, North Somerset, the new free school is on track to open in state-of-the art purpose-built facilities in Churchill, North Somerset, in September 2024.

The school will have places for up to 65 children and young people in year 1 to year 11, with an initial expected intake of approximately 20 Key Stage 3 pupils in September 2022.

Over the coming weeks, CLF leaders will be working closely with North Somerset Council and the Department for Education to finalise the next steps of the project. A planning application is expected to be submitted in summer 2022 for the Churchill site.

CLF Chief Executive Steve Taylor said: “We’re delighted to have this opportunity to extend our range of provision in North Somerset. This exciting new special school will join Hans Price, Broadoak, Haywood Village, Herons’ Moor, Winterstoke Hundred, and Uphill Village Academies in our local family of schools. It will add to and draw support from those schools, and our broader provision across the region. At the same time as registering our enthusiasm, we recognise how important this new school will be in contributing to the ambitions of the local area to improve and extend its special needs provision. We are looking forward to working in strong partnership with North Somerset Council and other colleagues and organisations across the county.”

Cllr Catherine Gibbons, Executive Member for Children’s Services and Lifelong Learning for North Somerset Council, said: “Providing a positive and appropriate learning environment for children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs is vital to their wellbeing, education and development, so I am really pleased that this project is progressing. We are committed to ensuring our children and young people get the best start in life, and this new school will support our ambition.”

The new school for children with SEMH needs in Churchill, North Somerset, aims to level up educational outcomes and keep children engaged in learning through specialist facilities and learning programmes.

[email protected] multi academy trust was due to operate the new school but has withdrawn due to other commitments in the region, including the opening of its free school in Gloucestershire.

CLF will launch a six-week consultation exercise in April to gather feedback on the educational offer from potential parents and carers, education sector employees, local charities and the wider community. If you would like to register to receive information about that consultation when it is launched, please send your name, email address and why you are interested in the consultation (are you a parent or carer, do you work in the education sector or for a local charity or do you live in the wider community) to [email protected]   with Special School Consultation in the subject line.

Thirty five new special free schools are planned to open across England from September 2022.  The free school programme aims to ensure that children with special educational needs reach their potential, find employment, and lead happy and fulfilled lives.