In Sheffield, as in the rest of the UK, demand for specialist placements continues to increase.
Since 2018, seven new integrated resources (IRs) and 300 new special school places have been created in the city. This includes the new Discovery special school, which opened on the Norfolk Park estate in September 2022.
The local authority is looking to create more school places for children with special educational needs across both mainstream and special schools.
In mainstream, the ambition is to double the number of Integrated Resource (IR) places in the city by 2027. A number of schools and Academy Trusts across the city are currently involved in discussions with the local authority. It is anticipated that these units would then start to open from September 2024 – it typically takes around 12 months to set up an IR.
In terms of special schools, activity continues to open a new special school for children with social, emotional and mental health needs for September 2024. This opening date is not yet confirmed due to challenges on construction timeframes and other related issues. We’ll provide further updates once we know more.
In February 2023, Sheffield and Barnsley’s joint bid to open a new special school (Key Stage 2-4) for 200 pupils, with places split 50/50 between the two local authorities, was approved by the government. The school is expected to be built in the north of Sheffield and will cater for students with needs relating to autism and communication/interaction. An opening date has not yet been confirmed.