Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

New Central Bedfordshire special school approved to next stage

Friday, 3 March 2023

Our application for a new special free school has been approved to progress to the next stage.

We have submitted a bid to the Department of Education for a brand-new special free school last year as an integral part of their plan, including a commitment of £57 million, to meet the growing demand for specialist school places.

The special free school will cater for 130 pupils and focus on providing appropriate education and support for children and young people with special educational needs in relation to social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH) – a need we know we need more provision for.

The new special free school would be located on the site of the current Ivel Valley school site at Hitchmead Road, Biggleswade. This site is likely to be vacated by Ivel Valley as part of its own redevelopment and expansion plans onto land east of Biggleswade. Of course, both these sites and plans remain subject to feasibility studies and planning consent.

Alongside the Department for Education, we will start seeking proposals from organisations which are interested in establishing and running the new school.

Councillor Sue Clark, Executive Member for Families, Education and Children, said:

I’m absolutely delighted our application has been successful. Like many other Councils across the country, we are experiencing an increase in the number of children and young people with special educational needs who require specialist education provision. The new special free school is an integral part of our plan to provide over 400 more specialist school places which is set out in our Specialist School Place Plan.

We are already building more specialist places, and this brand-new, state-of-the-art school will make a significant difference to our children and families in Central Bedfordshire.