Urgent information for interested parties

Please note that there was an anomaly between the original expression of interest information and the published specification for the new Herefordshire special 16-19 free school. The original description was for a 16-19 50 place free school, accommodating years 12, 13 and 14. In the specification, the template only shows years 12 and 13.

Herefordshire would like to confirm that the school being commissioned will need places for all three year groups - year 12, 13 and 14 students will all need to be placed. Applications submitted to lead the free school will therefore need to take this into consideration in all relevant sections of the application.

About the proposal

Herefordshire Council is excited to be working with the Department for Education (DfE) to provide a new special free school for the county's 16 to 19 year olds with severe and complex learning disabilities, including autism.

The proposed new school will provide places for 50 young people and the proposed site is adjacent to Hereford Sixth Form College, rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted.

The school will be a centre of excellence for young people with special educational needs (SEN) and will:

  • Provide high quality teaching and learning
  • Offer high quality information, advice and guidance
  • Provide a community facility outside of school hours
  • Enable internships and work experience
  • Support students in other educational facilities, including mainstream schools, colleges and training providers
  • Provide a resource hub for staff working with SEN children and their families

The council's proposal forms part of the DfE's ambitious free schools programme, which will deliver innovation, choice and higher standards for parents. The DfE has approved 131 new free schools, which includes new special free schools in 19 local council areas, including Herefordshire.

Young people with special educational needs and disabilities often face a range of challenges leaving school and moving into adulthood. Herefordshire is looking to build on the existing high quality post 16 opportunities and develop a broad range of special education provision to meet the needs of SEN children and young people, so regardless of individual needs, everyone will have the opportunity to make good progress and achieve.

The council and Department for Education invite interested groups to come forward with their proposals for developing a new special free school in the county. To find out more about opening a free school, please visit the government's website.

Compulsory pre-registration

All interested groups must complete the Department for Education's compulsory pre-registration form, prior to making an application. Please refer to the council's specification guidance, before pre-registering your interest.

Making an application

Please read the Department for Education's application guide and criteria and the council's specification guidance, before completing your application. These two documents contain full details of email and postal addresses, number and format of copies and how the application is to be submitted.

You will need to complete a two part application form process, which must be sent to both Herefordshire Council at the following email address: cbaird@herefordshire.gov.uk and the Department for Education:

Useful links

When considering your application, you may find the following Department for Education guidance useful:

Submission deadline

You can submit completed applications at any time, but the final deadline is 12pm (midday) on 24 November 2017