Plans for a new special school in Bromley for up to 50 vulnerable kids have been given a government boost.

The council has been given the green light by the Department of Education to move to the next stage in establishing a new special free school in the borough.

The school will be able to take on approximately 50 kids once it is set up, relieving pressure from other facilities.

Nationally and locally there is a huge pressure on special educational needs as more kids than ever before are needing extra support from specialists.

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The council is now searching for an academy trust to come forward to run services at the new school, which is being considered for the Hawes Down Centre.

Cllr Peter Fortune, executive member for children and families, said: “At present, too many of our children and young people with special educational needs are educated out of the borough or in independent schools because we do not have enough of the right provision locally.

“Our successful bid for a new school will redress the balance by developing more local provision here in Bromley.

“We are delighted by the prospect of being able to offer in-borough places to these children and we hope that, over the next few months, an outstanding academy trust will come forward to run the school.”

It is understood the Hawes Down Centre is being considered as the potential location for the new primary unit, however the proposals are at an early stage.

At a council meeting on April 8, the cabinet member was pressed on how many kids the school will be able to take on – and what will happen once all the places are filled.

He said: “Part of our manifesto was to bid for a new specialist free school. That part has been approved, for a Key Stage 2 provision for 7-11-year-olds.

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“At this moment it is not associated for any school. There is a competitive process going on – that will be determined by the secretary of state.

“No academy trust has been agreed to deliver the provision – the bid is for around 50/55 children which will relieve some of the pressure on the SEN spend that we have, and help to ensure that some of the children in need are looked after in the borough.

“It’s a recognised challenge we have that we are committed to dealing with.”