Last week the Department for Education announced Catch22 Multi Academies Trust as the sponsor a new special free school in Basingstoke, Hampshire. Thirteen other special school sponsors were announced, creating more than 1,100 additional places for children with special educational needs.
Many special schools currently struggle to meet the high demand, especially for autism-specific places and so the announcement means that students in Basingstoke and across the country will be able to access education that is suited to their needs.
Catch22 Multi Academies Trust, a part of Catch22, will open the school in 2020 and have 125 places for students aged 4-16 with autism spectrum disorder and social communication needs. Catch22 already have a presence in Basingstoke, with The Ashwood Academy, an Ofsted rated ‘Good’ alternative provision school which supports students aged 11-16.
Catch22 Multi Academies Trust’s model focuses on creating a safe and nurturing environment where students are taught with a curriculum tailored to their individual needs and are able to build strong and trusting relationships with classmates and staff. This approach is reflective of Hampshire County Council’s commitment to promoting success and achievement for all of the county’s young people and preparing all students for adulthood and full participation in society.
Graham Payne, Catch22 Multi Academies Trust Executive Principal said:
“Catch22 Multi Academies Trust is delighted to be announced as the sponsor of a new special free school in Hampshire. This is a hugely exciting opportunity to open an outstanding new provision to improve the life chances of children aged 4-16 in Basingstoke. This new school alongside with The Ashwood Academy, will form our Hampshire hub, allowing us to share best practice to maximise support and positive outcomes for all young people in the area.”
Mark Lehain, Director of New Schools Network, said:
“The application process to set up a free school is extremely rigorous so it is a testament to Catch22 Multi Academies Trust’s hard work that they have been approved to open. We congratulate all the successful schools and look forward to helping them through the pre-opening process.”