Anthony is thrilled to welcome the approval of a new special free school in the constituency.
The school will provide specialized education for 60 pupils aged 11-16 in Gamlingay, a significant step forward in improving provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in the region.
In collaboration with Cambridgeshire County Council, the Department for Education will soon commence a selection process, inviting applications from proposer groups interested in opening and operating the new free school. The selection criteria will prioritize applications that demonstrate the requisite skills, experience, and partnerships needed to establish a high-quality school that caters to the local community's needs. The announcement of the school's operator is scheduled for March 2024.
Having campaigned for increased SEND funding, Anthony expressed his continued commitment to advocating for SEND provision in Cambridgeshire, something he has raised with headteachers across his constituency. He emphasized the school's potential to address the growing demand for Social Emotional and Mental Health places while delivering cost-effective solutions and improved outcomes for pupils.
Commenting on the announcement, he said: “The approval of this new special free school marks a significant achievement for our community and a triumph for better education opportunities for children with special needs. I want to thank everyone who contributed to this endeavour, from local authorities to dedicated individuals, for their unwavering commitment.
It is the duty of every government to foster an environment where every child can flourish and reach their full potential. I will be following the upcoming selection process carefully to ensure that the chosen proposer group shares this commitment and is dedicated to creating a nurturing and effective learning environment. "
The new school is part of the government's ongoing efforts to enhance SEND provision nationwide. In the 2021 Spending Review, the Department for Education received £2.6 billion in high needs capital funding, a portion of which will be allocated to establish 60 new special and Alternative Provision (AP) free schools. This initiative complements the 50 special free schools already in progress.