Sponsor unveiled for new special school in Sheffield

Warren Carratt, chief executive of Nexus multi-academy trust
Warren Carratt, chief executive of Nexus multi-academy trust

A sponsor has been announced for a new special free school in Sheffield for children with the most complex learning needs.

Nexus Multi Academy Trust will open a new 60-place special free school for children with autism spectrum disorder and social, emotional, and mental health needs in Sheffield.

Executive director of people at Sheffield Council Jayne Ludlam

Executive director of people at Sheffield Council Jayne Ludlam

Executive director of people at Sheffield Council, Jayne Ludlam, said the school will enable youngsters with the most complex needs reach their potential.

"This is great news for Sheffield. The new school will make sure that more children with autism and social, emotional and mental health needs are able to access the education opportunities they need locally," she said.

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“It will broaden the offer to Sheffield families and enable youngsters with some of the most complex needs to reach their potential and gain the qualifications to match.

“We are looking forward to working with Nexus Multi Academy Trust and our other partners in the exciting challenge ahead and making a real difference to the children and families in our city.”

Further details about the location of the school are still to be finalised.

Nexus MAT was also approved to open a 100-place school in Edenthorpe, Doncaster for children aged five to 19-years-old with complex communication and interaction needs, autism spectrum disorder and other social and mental health needs.

Its chief executive, Warren Carratt, said: "We are humbled and excited to be named as the preferred sponsor to open the two new special schools.

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"Nexus MAT was created to make the education system better in our local area and we are thrilled to be working with our local authority partners to co-produce two new schools and bring some much needed capacity to the special school system in the region.

“We look forward to working with children, families and our sister special schools across Doncaster and Sheffield to ensure that our new offer brings the choice and diversity families want and need.

"We already have a great working relationship with Doncaster and Sheffield Councils and I am thrilled to be entering into this next phase of partnership working.”

Chairman of the Nexus MAT board, Andrew Child, said: "We recognise that we have a huge responsibility here and we know that we have the skills, experience and enthusiasm to be successful.

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“In the past 22 months we have secured an additional £1.5m to improve our existing special academies and by opening two more special schools in South Yorkshire we are continuing to make the positive impact we planned to when we formed the multi academy trust."

The trust also runs Abbey School and Kelford School, both in Kimberworth, Rotherham; Rotherham Hilltop School, in Maltby; Pennine View School in Conisbrough.

Crags Community School, a mainstream primary in Maltby, is in the process of joining the trust.