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DfE approves OHCAT’s Free School Bid for Croydon

The government has committed to create 14 new special free schools across the country and the Secretary of State for Education has approved Orchard Hill College Academy Trust’s (OHCAT) application to establish a 150 place special free school and nursery in Croydon.

Dr Caroline Allen OBE, CEO/Principal of OHC&AT said: “The new school will provide high quality school and nursery places for pupils from 2 – 19 year olds with autism spectrum disorder. It will also offer parents more choice when deciding what is best for their child’s educational needs.”

“Improving opportunities and outcomes for our students is at the heart of everything we do. For young people, especially those with special needs or who experience other barriers to learning, the world can present many challenges. All young people deserve to leave education confident that they have developed the skills they need to achieve their ambitions, with meaningful education, work and life experiences to draw on. This is the confidence we aim to deliver pupils in Croydon.”

David Butler, Director of Education and Youth Engagement, said: “We are delighted to welcome OHC&AT to the borough and that Croydon’s new special free school has moved a step closer to becoming a reality. Every child and young person deserves an excellent education and we want this to be a flagship provision for those who need the most help and support, offering them an outstanding learning environment closer to their homes. We very much look forward to working closely with the providers to deliver this, and continuing to work with our existing mainstream and specialist schools, and local children and families – who have played an important role in helping to develop the vision for the new school – as together we create a first-class facility for our community.”

As a community of learners, families and colleagues OHC&AT believes that by working collaboratively, with energy and ambition we can always effect positive change. No limit is placed on what is possible and everyone has the ability to be the very best they can be.

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