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Funding announced for new special school in Leicestershire

School children

The Department for Education (DFE) has announced it will fund the building of a new special free school for Leicestershire.

Leicestershire County Council bid for the 50 place school for children with social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH) at the Iveshead campus in Shepshed.

The news comes as part of a wider government announcement that it plans to create around 3,500 new school places nationally for children with special educational needs (SEND), or those facing additional challenges in mainstream education.


This is fantastic news. We are delighted that the Department for Education is supporting the building of this school which will be of great benefit to  children and families in Leicestershire.

“We are committed to ensuring SEND provision is available to families across the county, both in the form of special schools and in mainstream education, and as close to their homes as possible.


The school is the only one to be awarded funding in the latest round in the East Midlands and is part of the council’s broader plans to invest up to £30m in developing new provision for children and young people with special educational needs (SEND) in Leicestershire.

It is currently running a consultation on its plans, which include:

  • Expanding its special schools
  • Creating up to 15 new SEND ‘units’, or ‘enhanced resource bases’ in mainstream schools
  • Building four new special schools: two for social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH), to include the new school in Shepshed,  and one for communication and interaction needs (this includes autistic spectrum disorder – ASD) to be located in Barwell. Longer term there is potential to also build a new 125 place area special school (this is subject to future need and housing growth)
  • Creating more places in its existing enhanced resource bases 

The consultation is asking for views on how the new provision should look and feel. In the spring more information will be available on the type and proposed location of the provisions – you can have your say here

The council’s ruling cabinet will consider the responses to the consultation when it meets in the summer.

The deadline for responses is midnight on Sunday, March 31. You can apply online or call 0116 305 7150 or email us with enquiries, or to request a hard copy of the consultation document and questionnaire

- The DFE  has announced that every region in the country will benefit from a new school, which include 37 special free schools and two alternative provision free schools. This will create around 3,500 additional school places, boosting choice for parents and providing specialist support and education for pupils with complex needs such as autism, severe learning difficulties or mental health conditions, and those who may have been or are at risk of being excluded from mainstream schools.

More on this is available here

Note: Dates of when the new Shepshed school will be built, and the exact funding, need to be confirmed. The council currently has six special schools across the county

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