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The East Riding has been successful in a bid for a new 120-place special free school in Bridlington. The announcement from the Department for Education (DfE) follows East Riding of Yorkshire Council submitting two bids in 2022, one for a special school in Welton and one for Bridlington.

The DfE confirmed last year that the bid for Welton was successful. This school will be called The North Star School, operated by The Education Alliance academy trust, and located adjacent to South Hunsley School, on the former site of St Anne’s Special School.

The North Star School will create up to 120 places for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and is expected to open in 2027.

The DfE has announced that the second bid for the 120-place Bridlington special free school will also go ahead, supporting children aged 5 to 19 with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs.

Councillor Victoria Aitken, cabinet member for children, families and education said: “I am delighted that the DfE is investing in new school places in the form of free schools in the East Riding.

“We all know there are pressures for families and for schools and we are working hard to meet the needs of children.

“These two new special free schools will go a long way towards providing much needed places and environments that enable children to flourish.”

The council will support the DfE as they identify an academy trust to operate the school at Bridlington. Additionally, in a separate free school bidding round, the council supported The Constellation Trust with a bid for an alternative provision free school, to provide additional short-stay capacity for children aged seven to 19.

The Constellation Trust is now in the pre-opening stage and is working on identifying a site, with a view to opening the provision in September 2025.

Councillor Aitken continued: “The council is committed to working with all academy trusts, schools and settings, to collectively achieve the best outcomes for our children and young people.

“Working together we will continue to introduce new provision and resources required to meet needs of our children, and ensure they are supported to achieve their full potential.”

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