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Apply to open our new special free schools

We have been successful in our bid to the Department for Education to open two new special free schools in Norfolk.

Special free school - cognition and learning

We are now inviting strong, inclusive academy sponsors to apply to operate a new, all-through special free school for children with complex special educational needs.  The school will be for 170 learners with a primary need of cognition and learning, ranging from moderate to severe and, in some cases, profound and multiple.  The school will include a specialist unit for learners with autism, learning difficulties and challenging behaviour.

We want applications that demonstrate a commitment to partnership working to create a school that will deliver what the local area and its families need, and ultimately provide an opportunity for the children that attend to achieve better outcomes.  We are keen to receive applications from the best providers both locally and nationally.

We held an Information event for potential sponsors on 11 June which was well attended.

How to submit your application
The deadline for applications is 12 noon, Monday 30 September 2019. Sponsors must submit their application via email to (Department for Education) and (Norfolk County Council). Please title both your application file(s) and email(s) as follows: Special Free School application_Norfolk County Council New Special Free School_NAME OF YOUR GROUP

In addition, send one hard copy (delivered via guaranteed method or hand) to:

Special and AP Schools Assessment Team
Department for Education
2nd Floor Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
Manchester M1 2WD

New social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) free school

We are inviting applications to sponsor a new special free school for learners with complex emotional, social and mental health difficulties in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

Further details are set out in the following documents:

We held an Information event for potential sponsors on 11 June which was well attended.

The deadline for sponsors to submit their applications has now passed.

The initial assessment of applications will take place in September 2019 with shortlisted applicants being notified by 13 September 2019.

Following interviews at the end of September, the recommended bidder will be notified to the Department for Education (DfE) by 4 October 2019.

The DfE will make the final decision by 18 November 2019.

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