Parents welcome plans for new special free school in Sheffield

Warren Carratt, chief executive.
Warren Carratt, chief executive.

Parents have welcomed news that plans for a new special free school in Sheffield have moved a step closer.

Nexus Multi Academy Trust has been announced as the sponsor for the 60-place special free school for children with autism spectrum disorder and social, emotional, and mental health needs in the city.

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A number of Sheffield Star readers took to Facebook to express their delight over the plans.

Stephanie Folger said: "Absolutely fantastic news that money is finally being spent on something useful for children and parents being able to recognise with the school the problems that need sorting to make it much better for both to have a better life and feel much safer."

Kimberley Joel described the move as "Brilliant" and added that it is "about time this happened, plenty of children will benefit greatly from this new school."

Michelle McAssey posted: "Good news for special needs children. They often get forgotten about and it'd swept under a carpet."

Jeanette Ainsworth said: "Well done, at last something good for children with special needs."

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Jayne Ludlam, executive director of people at Sheffield Council, said the school will enable youngsters with the most complex needs reach their potential.

She added: "This is great news for Sheffield. The new school will make sure that more children with autism and social, emotional and mental health needs are able to access the education opportunities they need locally.

“It will broaden the offer to Sheffield families and enable youngsters with some of the most complex needs to reach their potential and gain the qualifications to match."

Further details about the location of the school and opening dates have yet to be revealed.

Nexus MAT was also approved to open a 100-place school in Edenthorpe, Doncaster for children aged five to 19-years-old with complex communication and interaction needs, autism spectrum disorder and other social and mental health needs.

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Warren Carratt, chief executive, said: "We are humbled and excited to be named as the preferred sponsor to open the two new special schools.

"Nexus MAT was created to make the education system better in our local area and we are thrilled to be working with our local authority partners to co-produce two new schools and bring some much needed capacity to the special school system in the region.

“We look forward to working with children, families and our sister special schools across Doncaster and Sheffield to ensure that our new offer brings the choice and diversity families want and need.

"We already have a great working relationship with Doncaster and Sheffield Councils and I am thrilled to be entering into this next phase of partnership working.”