A new special school for students with learning difficulties is set to open in Rushden in 2020.
Friars Academy Trust, which runs Friars Academy in Wellingborough, is delighted to announce the location of Friars East Free School, their new 145-place special secondary school in Rushden.
After a period of negotiation between LocatED, the property arm of the Department for Education, and the Duchy of Lancaster, contracts have been exchanged on land east of the A6, which is to the south of Chelveston Road (B645) and east of Newton Road, Rushden.
The Rushden site currently comprises of 5.5 acres of green field land which was previously used for grazing.
It borders Moulton College on the eastern boundary, and there are plans to redevelop the surrounding area, including the increased provision of sports facilities for community use.
It is anticipated that Friars East Free School will open in September 2020.
When the new school building is complete, it will offer places to 145 children aged 11 to 19 with special educational needs.
Friars East Free School will cater for students with moderate learning difficulties to severe learning difficulties, including students with autism.
Admissions will be coordinated via Northamptonshire County Council’s Education, Health and Care team.
A new, single-storey school building will be developed in conjunction with Friars Multi Academy Trust, with a bespoke design and therapeutic facilities aimed at meeting the needs of pupils.
The design process is under way and construction is expected to start in the late summer of 2019.
John Turnbull, chairman of Friars Multi-Academy Trust and Suzzanne Ijewsky, executive headteacher of Friars Multi-Academy Trust, said: “We are delighted that a site has now been secured for Friars East Free School.
“The new school is much-needed and will meet the rising demand for additional special school places in Northamptonshire.
“Friars East Free School will mirror the outstanding curriculum, pastoral support and extra-curricular opportunities offered at Friars Academy, enabling our children and young people to maximise their potential.”