Meeting demand for special school places

9th April 2021

TAGS free school, IRs

  • Demand for special school places in Sheffield continues to grow. Sheffield City Council is working to create additional places at some of our existing primary and secondary special schools, in time for the start of the new academic year in September 2021.

    The pandemic and construction difficulties have caused delays in the opening of two new special schools. The new Discovery school in the Norfolk Park area is now due to open in September 2022. A second special school is expected to open in September 2023, subject to planning and other approval processes. Each of these new schools will offer around 80 full-time places for learners aged 7-16 years with communication and interaction needs (including autism) as well as social, emotional and mental health needs. Decisions have yet to be made about the level of complexity of needs that these schools will cater for.

    Last September, three new Integrated Resources (IRs) for children with communication and interaction difficulties opened at primary schools in the north of the city (Beck, Whiteways and Hucklow). This created 30 additional IR places, but still more are needed. Sheffield City Council has asked schools to submit expressions of interest in creating or extending IR provision, and our representatives will be involved in evaluating these. It is expected that more IRs will open over the next few years.

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