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Government Go-Ahead for New SEN School in Dorset

The construction of 37 new SEN schools have been approved across the UK. And one of them is coming to Dorset…!

Plans to build a new school, which will allow children with autism, complex learning difficulties and mental health conditions in Dorset to be educated closer to home, have been approved.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed on Monday 20th July that plans for 37 new schools across the UK have been given the go-ahead. 35 of these new schools are expected to open from September 2022 and will give children with complex needs access to specialist equipment, including sensory equipment and communication aids.

On Sunday 19th July, it was announced that Dorset County Council is one of six councils in the South West region who have successfully bid for funding from the Department of Education.

The new school is looking to provide places for up to 75 young people between the ages of 14 and 19, who would otherwise have to travel outside of Dorset for specialist education.

Councillor Andrew Parry, the cabinet portfolio holder for education on Dorset County Council, said: “This is brilliant news. I am proud that after several years of hard work we have managed to secure funding for this new school.

“We want to provide more specialist education provision in Dorset, so our children do not have to travel as far.

“This new school will mean that we can provide excellence in education for more of our young people closer to their homes, their families and their local community. It will improve our children’s lives and help them achieve brilliant futures.”

Dorset County Council has said that it will be working closely with the Department of Education to outline plans for the new school. Currently, it is not known when the school will open, where it will be built, or which academy trust will run it.

Families who could benefit from the new school will soon be asked for their views on the plans. Work to find out which children could be eligible to attend the school has already begun.

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Emily White
Emily is a Wiltshire-born English Literature and Creative Writing graduate, currently living in Poole, with ambitions to work in publishing or journalism. She is an avid reader and book reviewer, posting reviews and book-related content on her blog and Instagram account. In particular, she enjoys writing about culture, local events and, of course, books. In her spare time, she helps to care for two horses, and loves exploring the world.

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