21 Jun

SSV and NSN Free Event

Special Schools Voice and New Schools Network are hosting two events in London and Manchester to discuss the opportunities of opening a special free school and a special school multi-academy trust. This event will be a chance to hear from experts and free school leaders about the process of setting up a special free school and the experience of being a special school multi academy trust. Sessions will focus on the process of applying for and establishing a special free school, incorporating recent changes to what is involved. There will also be the opportunity to listen to the experiences of successful special free school and academy leaders.

At present there are 23 open special free schools catering for a wide variety of needs and another 46 which have been approved and are preparing to open.  Recent figures indicate that the numbers and proportion of children and young people being diagnosed with SEN and issued with EHCPs in England continues to rise.  The latest statistics point to a 50 % increase of young people with significant and profound needs, an increase in numbers of girls presenting on the autistic continuum and a country wide shift of children from mainstream schools into specialist provision.  All of these combined factors means there is an increasingly pressing need for more special school places all over the country. 

This event will hear from 3 Multi Academy Trusts as to how they are trying to tackle some of these challenges.  The CEOs/executive principals from The Bridge Schools in Islington, New Bridge Group in Oldham and East Manchester and Southfield Grange Trust in Bradford will deliver short presentations and be available throughout the event for advice and questions.

The New Schools Network is an independent charity that aims to improve the quality of education, particularly for the most deprived, by delivering more high-quality free schools of all types. They work with and support free schools in all phases, from initial conception to fully established school.

This event has been co constructed by the New Schools Network and Special Schools’ Voice.  Special Schools’ Voice is established to provide a means for special schools, and their leadership teams, to speak collectively and to be heard so that we can ensure the best possible outcomes for the children and young people we work with.  Find out more about our work at


Places are limited and are free to attend.  The events will be in Manchester on the 3rd of July at 10.30-12.30 and in London on the 17th of July at 2.00-4.00. To confirm your place please click here.

Manchester Venue

New Bridge School

Roman Road





London Venue

The Bridge School

251 Hungerford Road
N7 9LD