Tel: 01743 231052

Shrewsbury Academies Trust
Mount Pleasant Road

Support for the Shrewsbury Academies Trust SEND Free School

July 2016

Dear Colleague

Support for the Shrewsbury Academies Trust SEND Free School

I am writing on behalf of the core project group developing a submission to the DfE to establish an SEND Free School that we intend to establish in Shrewsbury for September 2018.The school will cater for up to 60 full time equivalent students both full and part time aged 3–16.

We plan to establish the SEND Free School to cater for the needs of young people who experience moderate learning difficulties, mental, emotional, social health problems or have an autistic spectrum disorder, principally, but not exclusively in the Shrewsbury and surrounding areas of Shropshire. All of our pupils will have an Educational Health Care Plan and will be referred by the local authority.

Our aim in developing this new school is to improve the aspirations, learning outcomes and life destinations of all young people in the county who experience these difficulties as we are aware that the current offer for this group of pupils could be expanded. In addition to providing full time educational provision for this group of pupils we also plan to work closely with the local authority and schools throughout the county to offer a comprehensive menu of outreach provision which will include support for SENCOs, SEND documentation, paperwork for pre Ofsted monitoring and preparation, resources and training.

In order to complete our application to the Department for Education to open the Free School we are required to demonstrate evidence of demand and local support for our proposal. It is very important that our submission evidences the support of stakeholders in the county who will confirm that they will work collaboratively with the proposed school to assist us achieve improved educational outcomes and life chances for this particular group of young people. I am therefore requesting your support for our proposal and your written confirmation that you would work collaboratively with us.

We plan to offer these children an SEND Free School that delivers a personalised, structured vocational and academic curriculum together with comprehensive pastoral and therapeutic support that will improve the quantity and quality of educational, employment and life skills outcomes for our pupils.

We are developing our proposal in close co-operation with officials from the local authority as we all believe that the SEND Free School will augment existing provision and bring important benefits to a significant number of local pupils who need support to bridge the gap between existing special education provision and mainstream secondary education in the county.

I do hope that you will be willing to confirm your support for our plans by writing to me so that we may include your letter of support in our application to the Department for Education. I would be grateful if you could return your letter to me by September 1st so that we can meet the deadline for submitting our application. (I have attached a draft letter of support that you might find helpful for this purpose schools only)

Do not hesitate to contact me on 01743 230152 or 07970 681987 if you have any queries regarding our plans for the SEND Free School.
Click here for PDF version


Yours faithfully

G D Pettengell NLE
Shrewsbury Academies Trust