DfE announce approval

News release:  Wednesday 12 April 2017
The Department for Education today announced that The Cavendish School is one of eight new free schools that have been approved to open in Cambridgeshire.  The new special school, which is being set up by the Morris Education Trust, is due to open on the site at Impington Village College in 2019.

The school has been approved to offer specialist provision for children with autism spectrum condition aged 9 to 19.  The Trust has been working in partnership with Cambridgeshire Local Authority from the outset to develop the proposals which will offer local children and families excellent state provision and to meet rising needs.  The Trust will partner with the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University to ensure leading edge research can support the school as it opens and grows.

Robert Campbell, CEO of the Morris Education Trust and Executive Principal at Impington Village College said: 

“This is wonderful news for the local area and for the families that the new school will serve. It was the Cambridge News who notably highlighted the need for specialist provision for children with autism. As soon as we started our work last year, it was clear there was real support there from the Local Authority, from other schools and especially from families whose children have the condition, which we were able to build on and use to develop our plans. The news today is a great tribute to those involved, the wonderful education professionals based here at Impington along with the parents who offered great insights into what might be needed for their children with autism spectrum condition. The phrase that we developed to sum up what The Cavendish School hopes to achieve is ‘Enabling the self’. We are one hugely important step closer to fulfilling that vision today.” 

Toby Young, Director of New Schools Network, said:

“The application process to set up a free school is extremely rigorous so it is a testament to the Morris Education Trust’s hard work that they have been approved to open. This is the largest ever cohort of free schools to be approved, a sign of this Government’s commitment to extending the benefits of the free schools policy to all parts of the country.

“This is a big day for free schools. With 800 either opened or approved to open, providing 400,000 places when full, free schools are now a permanent part of England’s educational landscape.” 

Interested parents can find out more at www.thecavendishschool.org.uk or contact hello@tmet.org.uk

Editors’ notes

  • For more information about The Cavendish School, a special free school for children with autism spectrum condition (aged 9 to 19), please contact Robert Campbell on rcampbell@tmet.org.uk
  • Free schools are state funded schools that are independent of local authority control. They have the freedom to decide the length of school day and term, their curriculum, teacher pay and how they spend their budgets.
  • Today’s announcement means there are 430 free schools currently open and 373 approved to open, which will create 400,000 places when full.
  • 81% of free schools that have been inspected by Ofsted have been judged Good or Outstanding. They are more likely to be judged Outstanding when compared to other state schools.
  • New Schools Network is an independent charity that provides support to groups wanting to set up free schools: newschoolsnetwork.org