New all-through special free school in Royal Borough of Greenwich

We have identified the need to establish a new school to meet the increasing demand for specialist provision in the borough.

This follows Section 6A of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 (the 'free school presumption'), where a local authority must seek proposals from suitably qualified organisations to establish a new school as a 'free school'.

The new 240 place all-through special school will be established over two separate sites within the borough and delivered in two stages:

  • Stage one will incorporate a new secondary and sixth form campus to be built on the former primary school site on Hargood Road, SE3 and is planned to open from September 2025.
  • Stage two will develop the primary phase provision to be located at an alternative site within the borough and is planned to open from September 2026.

Selecting an academy trust

As the strategic commissioner of special school places in the local area, we are launching a competition process to appoint a suitably qualified academy trust to run the new special free school.

This is following the council's Cabinet decision in November 2022 to delegate to the Director of Children's Services the authority to undertake a competition process to appoint a suitable academy sponsor to run the new all-through special free school. It also follows a recently completed consultation process showing an overwhelming support from local residents and relevant stakeholders for the new school.

The competition process to identify a suitably qualified academy trust will commence early December in a two-stage process involving a mandatory pre-application stage followed by the main application stage for academy proposers who meet the prerequisite shortlisting criteria.

Download the specification document and application guidance

Who can apply?

All suitably qualified academy trusts are encouraged to apply.

We are particularly seeking an academy trust with a reputable track record of operating special schools for pupils with autism. Your academy trust would need to be judged by Ofsted as 'good' or 'outstanding' during your time of operation.

You must have a robust management capacity and structure that is able to deliver efficient curriculum and outcomes for children over multiple sites.

You must demonstrate that you are ambitious for our children and young people with SEND and able to work with the Directorate of Children's Services to deliver the council's vision for our children to achieve their full potential.

Apply now

If you wish to apply, download the pre-application form and email the completed form to by midnight on Friday 29 December 2023.

Download the pre-application form

Only academy trusts who meet the pre-requisite acceptance criteria will be invited to apply for the main application stage.

More information