TEES VALLEY: £6.5 million allocated to new special school
The Department for Education is allocating £6.5m towards a new special school for the Tees Valley which is due to open in Grangetown, on the outskirts of Middlesbrough.
The 100 place special school will cater for primary and secondary age children and post-16 students with social, emotional and mental health needs, including young people who are on the autism spectrum.
A planning application for the school – which is due to open in time for the new academic year from September 2022 – is expected to be lodged with Redcar and Cleveland Council in the next few months.
It will be operated by the River Tees Multi-Academy Trust and take 25 pupils each from Redcar and Cleveland, Middlesbrough, Stockton and Darlington.
The new school was one of 35 special free schools announced by the Government in July last year.
It will be built on a brownfield site in Grangetown and employ more than 50 staff.
A DfE spokeswoman said: “We are prioritising support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and have made significant progress with establishing new schools to support these pupils.
“This school will allow those pupils with the most complex needs to get the excellent education they deserve.”
The spokeswoman said the project had recently entered into the pre-opening stage of the free school process.
Free schools are state funded schools that are independent of local authority control.
They have the freedom to decide the length of school day and term, their curriculum, teacher pay and how they spend their budgets.
The River Tees Multi-Academy Trust operates the River Tees Primary, River Tees Middle and River Tees High schools in Pallister Park, Middlesbrough, as well as the River Tyne Academy in Gateshead.
Councillor Alison Barnes, cabinet member for children at Redcar and Cleveland Council, said: “This school is a vital investment in children and young people right across the Tees Valley who deserve the best possible education.
“It is a major development and a vote of confidence in our borough and is great news for Redcar and Cleveland.”
Interested parents can find out more at http://www.rtmat.org.uk/
Words: Stuart Arnold, Local Democracy Reporter
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