Filton chosen as location for new school aimed at autistic children

Published on: 29 Jun 2015

Proposals for a new free school in Filton have been submitted to the Department for Education.

The South Gloucestershire and Stroud Multi Academy Trust (SGSAT), sponsor South Gloucestershire and Stroud College (SGS College), has submitted an application for a new school, The SGS School, for 80 boys and girls with autism aged between 4 and 19 to open in 2017.

This application represents many months of dedication and hard work.  To complete the lengthy application form, SGSAT had to write detailed education plans and budgets; explain why the school is needed by this community and demonstrate that it has local support.  More than 80 parents signed-up to say that they will support this school with both South Gloucestershire Council and Bristol City Council lending their support too.  The Trust has liaised very closely with South Gloucestershire Parents and Carers Forum to understand the views of parents as well as helping to appreciate how to best meet the needs of children with autism.

If the application is approved, the next stage will be a rigorous interview with the Department for Education after which they will hear if  the school has been given the green light.

Kevin Hamblin, Chief Executive Officer of SGSAT and Principal of SGS College said: “The Trust, the College and I are delighted with the immense support we have received from South Gloucestershire Council, special schools and resource bases in South Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire Parents and Carers Forum as well as most importantly from local parents and carers of children with autism to help develop a proposal for a new school.  This is such an exciting proposition where we can make a real difference to local families to ensure that children with autism are nurtured and developed to meet their full potential by providing personalised learning and support.”

The SGSAT was supported through the application process by national education charity New Schools Network.

Sarah Pearson, Interim Director of New Schools Network, said: “SGSAT has worked tirelessly to prepare an application for the Department for Education and we hope they will have the chance to put their plans into action and see their vision of a fantastic new school realised. With the government committing to 500 new free schools, this is an exciting time and we are beginning to hear from new groups who are passionate about education.”

Interested parents can find out more by contacting Clare Wilson at info.sgsss@sgscol.ac.uk or by visiting our website, www.sgscol.ac.uk/SGSSchool.

A spokesman said: “Parents can express an interest but at the moment they can’t request a place.”     

Free schools are new, independent state schools. Charities, groups of teachers, existing schools and parents can set up these new schools.

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