In 2019 we received approval from the secretary of state for the bid to establish a special free school in the county. Work is now underway with the Department for Education (DfE) and the successful trust who will run the school, to make this a reality.

Wellspring Academy Trust

The Department for Education has chosen Wellspring Academy Trust as the multi-academy trust to take on the special free school in Selby.

Wellspring Academy Trust already has a presence in North Yorkshire as it runs The Forest School, a special school in Knaresborough and the Grove pupil referral unit in Harrogate.

Read about Wellspring Academy Trust.

About the school

The school will be for children and young people with complex special educational needs in the areas of:

  • communication and interaction needs, including autism and speech language and communication needs; and/or
  • cognition and learning needs (moderate/severe learning difficulties).

Some children and young people may have related social, emotional and mental health needs but this will not be their primary need.

The detailed specification for the proposed school is available on this page.

The development of the special free school in Selby is an important part of North Yorkshire’s Strategic plan for SEND Education provision 0-25, 2018-2023.

Related documents

How to contact

Please contact for further information.


SEND Provision and Resources Team
North Yorkshire County Council
County Hall
Racecourse Lane
North Yorkshire

What is a free school?

Free schools are state-funded academies. They are outside local authority control and are operated by academy trusts.

Who will run the school?

Wellspring Academy Trust will run the school. You can read about Wellspring Academy Trust here.

Which children and young people is the school for?

The school will be for up to 100 pupils aged three to 19 with needs in the areas of communication and interaction and/or cognition and learning needs.

Pupils at the school will have an Education, Health and Care Plan and will have been assessed as requiring this type of school.

We expect that a special school in the Selby area will bring benefits for children and young people across education, health and care.

What is happening at the moment?

We are working with the Department for Education and Wellspring Multi Academy Trust to develop the school. 

How are parents/carers involved?

Parents and carers in Selby provided information which was included in our bid for the school. We have met with parents and carers to explain about the proposed school and provided a list of FAQs.

We have also worked with parents, carers and representatives of community groups in Selby to gather their views about the proposed school. We published these on the website so that groups interested in applying to open and run the school could read them. You can read the views of parents, carers and representatives here.

We will continue to engage with parents and carers about the proposed school as the process takes place.

How to find out more information:

  • We will be updating this web page when there is more information available.
  • You can go to the main web page about the school to read our specification for the school
  • We will be working with parent/carer groups to send out information to parent/carers.