Special free school: Primary

A new special school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Speech and Learning Difficulties, and Communication and Interaction Difficulties is to be built in Salford.

Contextual information for applicant groups

The Department for Education is inviting applications from proposer groups to open a new special free school in Salford.

Applicant groups can access the key school specification information, along with the full ‘How to Apply’ guidance, on GOV.UK. You should read these documents carefully before completing mandatory pre-registration.

The school specification document sets out the key factual details about the proposed school, including the proposed size, SEND designation, age range, suggested top-up funding, and proposed site.

This document provides applicant groups with additional contextual information provided by Salford City Council, which includes:

  • The rationale, context and need for the school;
  • Details on the commissioning of places, including the involvement of any other LAs commissioning places;
  • A brief description of the existing provision in the area;
  • Future expected growth in pupil numbers; and
  • How the LA expects places within the school to be filled.

Download the Salford Special Free School - Contextual information document (Adobe PDF format, 100kb)

What happens next:

  • 9 May 2023: DfE publish the How to Apply guidance and school specifications
  • May onwards: Salford City Council hold engagement events with prospective trusts
  • 16 June 2023: Preregistration closes
  • 31 August 2023: DFE application window closes

New Salford special free school – Engagement events for academies and trusts

The secretary of State for Education has approved our application to establish a special free school in Salford. Updated guidance has confirmed that the assessment of Trust applications to run the new specialist free school will now be a DfE centrally run process, with local authority involvement.

The proposed new special school, which will be funded and constructed by the DfE will cater for boys and girls aged four to 11 with a range of needs including autism, speech and learning, and communication and interaction. It is envisaged that the new school will provide up to 150 special school places at full capacity.

We will be holding engagement events for Trusts and Academies on Monday 5 June and Wednesday 7 June so that proposer groups can find out more about:

  • Salford’s current Local Offer for children with complex needs.
  • Current and future projected demand for specialist school places for children aged four to 11 resident in Salford.
  • The proposed school, its location and funding for pupil places.
  • Salford Council and the DfE collaboration with Create: Schools, and the free offer to proposer groups.
  • Assessment criteria against the published School Specification.
  • Next steps and key milestones.

Proposer group engagement events details:

There will be a presentation about the proposed new school, the application process and key milestones, followed by opportunities for questions and answers. There will also be an opportunity to visit the proposed school site after the in-person event.

If you would like to find out more about how to apply to open the new special free school, please email wendy.robinson@salford.gov.uk to attend one of the below events. Please let us know the name of your organisation, which event you wish to attend, who will attend and their roles. You will then be sent the venue details or the link to the online event.

  • Monday 5 June, 10am to 12pm: In person - venue in Salford to be confirmed. With Create: Schools. Includes option to visit the proposed school site.
  • Wednesday 7 June, 4pm to 6pm: Delivered via Microsoft Teams. With Create: Schools

If you would like to be kept informed about the engagement events, please email wendy.robinson@salford.gov.uk to register your interest.

Special free schools

Rate this page