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Medway snubbed as Kent County Council receives funding for new free school

By Dean Kilpatrick, local democracy reporter

Medway Council has failed in its bid to secure government funding for a new free special school in the Towns.

The list of 39 successful applications published yesterday (March 11) by the Department for Education saw Kent County Council awarded money for a new facility for children with special education needs and disability (SEND), but Medway miss out.

It is a major blow for the latter authority, with an ever-increasing demand for such school places and a desire to reduce the number of youngsters placed out of area.

Medway missed out on free school funding
Medway missed out on free school funding

Cllr Andrew Mackness (Con), portfolio holder for children’s services, said: “Whilst we are disappointed that we were not successful in this round of funding we are committed to ensuring that children receive the best education possible and in particular our young people with special educational needs.

“The outcome of the bidding round is particularly disappointing given that the government’s SEND Inspectors recently stated that too many children from Medway were having to be placed out of area due to insufficient provision being available in Medway.

“The free school would’ve helped to significantly reduce that providing a better outcome for children and their families.

“Following our recent review we know that after 2020 more children will require a place at a special school and we are committed to providing the specialist support that these children need to achieve their full potential.”

The application was separate from the council’s plans for a new £25 million independent school for young people diagnosed with complex autism disorder.

For more education news, click here.

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