We have received approval from the secretary of state for the bid to establish a special free school in the county.

This is an important part of our Strategic Plan for Special SEND education provision 0-25, 2018-2023. It supports our vision for all children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities SEND in North Yorkshire to:

  • have the best educational opportunities so they achieve the best outcomes;
  • be able to attend a school or provision as close to their home as possible; and
  • make progress with learning, have good social and emotional health and to be prepared for a fulfilling adult life.

The proposed school will be for children and young people with complex SEN in the areas of:

  • communication and interaction needs, including autism and speech language and communication needs; and/or
  • cognition and learning needs (MLD/SLD).

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.

Next steps

The process for trusts to apply to establish the proposed school can be found here.

The deadline for applications is midday on 30 September 2019.

As part of this stage of the process we are organising a stakeholder engagement event where you can find out more about the proposed school and ask questions of council officers.

We will also publish answers to questions about the proposed school on this page.

You can register your interest in the proposed free school and request an invitation to the engagement event by contacting special.freeschool@northyorks.gov.uk.

Related documents

 You can read the specification for proposed special school in North Yorkshire here. (pdf / 399 KB)
 You can read the strategic plan for SEND education provision 0-25 here (pdf / 3 MB).

How to contact

In the first instance please contact SEND strategic plan team on 01609 532306 or 01609 532464. Alternatively email special.freeschool@northyorks.gov.uk.


SEND Strategic Plan 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.

What are our proposals for the school?

The proposed 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 in the trust competition stage at the moment. This means we are inviting groups to register their interest in opening the school and holding events for these groups. Groups interested in applying to open the school have to make an application to the Department for Education Department For Education (DFE) by 30 September 2019.

We are working closely with the DfE on the proposed school.

What are the next steps?

We expect applications to be considered in autumn 2019 and the successful application to be announced early in 2020.

At the moment we do not have a date for the opening of the school.

How to find out more information:

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