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New special free school for Dorset

New free school engagement event
for proposed operators
of the new free special school

Thursday 23 May 2019

midday to 2pm
(refreshments from 11.30am)

Committee Room 1
County Hall, Colliton Park

This event is not for the general public.

There will be a presentation and more information about the new free special school in Dorset for children with SEND.

New Schools Network are attending to provide information and guidance on the application process.

Email: for more information.

Engagement event agenda

The agenda for the engagement event will be:

  • welcome and introduction: Gary Binstead and Andy Reid
  • why we need a new special school in Dorset: Gary Binstead
  • SEND journey and information: Gerri Kemp
  • Dorset funding: Margaret Judd
  • site options: Paul Scothern or Gary Binstead
  • application and support: New Schools Network (NSN)
  • questions: everyone

Information about a new special free school for Dorset

The latest announcement by the government to support Dorset with funding for a new special school, builds on Dorset Council's plans to provide more local education for children with special educational needs or disability (SEND).

Last year we committed to invest over £2 million (plus a £1 million grant from central government) in creating a number of specialist bases in mainstream schools. 

In addition a new special free school is due to open in Bovington this September which will provide places for 160 children with autism and social, emotional and mental health needs. 

We're still establishing the location for this latest school and we'll update this page as the project develops. This will include details of future engagement events and additional information for those interested in running the new school. 

Potential bidders

We're looking to identify an operator to open this new school and welcome expressions of interest. Read the guide to opening a free special school and trust application form from the Department for Education (DfE).

Contact Gary Binstead on for more information. We look forward to hearing from you about this exciting opportunity. 

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