Two new free schools to provide much-needed places in Rugby

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A free secondary school and free special needs school will be opening in Rugby to provide much-needed pupil places.

The Department for Education has approved the MacIntyre Academies Trust’s application to open a free school for children and young people with autism, social and emotional and mental health needs.

The school plans to open in 2017 but a location is yet to be decided.

MacIntyre Academies is a multi-academy Trust for special schools and alternative provision. It provides specialist resources and support for disabled children, young people, and their families.

The new school will offer education for 80 young people from ages nine to 19.

Brenda Mullen, chief executive of MacIntyre Academies, said: “The new School in Rugby will link closely with our Discovery Academy in Nuneaton and build on the positive work at Endeavour Academy in Oxford. We have been working closely with families in Warwickshire over several months to ensure that Discovery Academy offers new opportunities for its first cohort of pupils, many of whom have had difficulty accessing education previously. We now feel even more privileged to be able to develop a similar flexible and local provision for children and young people in Rugby and the surrounding area which will mean that more children in North and East Warwickshire can attend a school close to home.”

The new free secondary school will be run by the trust behind Rugby Free Primary School, which opened at Central Park, Rugby, earlier this week.

Rugby Free Secondary School will include a sixth form and has been approved to open with an initial intake of 180 Year 7 pupils.

The school will grow to reach full capacity of 1,260 students in 2022. Admissions opened on Tuesday and parents can apply for the free school in addition to a local authority school.

It will be a ‘STEMM’ school with a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics and an additional focus on the study of music.

A number of potential sites have already been identified for the school and the Department for Education and Education Funding Agency are now working to secure one of these as soon as possible.

Lead proposer Tom Legge said: “The team and I are thrilled that Rugby Free Secondary School has been approved into the pre-opening phase and that we are now able to progress our plans to make our vision a reality.

“The support we have received from parents and the wider community has been superb and we look forward to working together to ensure that every student achieves their maximum potential in a safe, supportive, stimulating, inspiring and high achieving school.”

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey has welcomed the new schools.

He said: “Part of the Government’s approach over the last five years has been to ensure that every child gets the best possible start in life, and that begins with a first class education. Here in Rugby, we have excellent schools and I am sure that the new Free Schools will complement them and give parents more, high quality, choices.

“These two new Free Schools will join Rugby Free Primary in delivering the additional school places that Rugby needs.

“These schools, which are being championed by parents and teachers across the country, will build on the reforms that the coalition Government made during the last Parliament. I am proud to see that Rugby is taking this opportunity to ensure that we meet the demand for high quality school places through the Free Schools programme.”