Provision of new special schools

The Department for Education is inviting applications from proposer groups to open 2 new special free schools in Swanley and Whitstable in Kent.

The contextual documents below provide applicant groups with additional contextual information, which includes:

  • the rationale, context and need for the school
  • details on the commissioning of places, including the involvement of any other LAs commissioning places
  • a brief description of the existing provision in the area
  • future expected growth in pupil numbers
  • how the LA expects places within the school to be filled.

Contextual information - Whitstable (PDF, 145.5 KB)

Contextual information - Swanley (PDF, 103.7 KB)

Kent County Council and Create Schools are holding two virtual engagement events for prospective applicants to find out:

  • more information about the new special schools in Kent
  • how we expect the new schools to fit in with our strategic plans.

The virtual engagement events will take place via MS Teams on:

  • Wednesday 13 September at 10am to 11am
  • Friday 15 September at 1:30pm to 2:30pm.

To book a place on one of the events email with:

  • your name
  • contact details
  • the date of the event you would like to attend.

We will then confirm your place and send you a link to join the event online.

23 August

  • Mandatory pre-registration opens.
  • Applications open.

13 September

  • Engagement event for prospective applicants.

15 September

  • Engagement event for prospective applicants.

22 September

  • Mandatory pre-registration closes at 5pm.

3 November

  • Application window closes at midday.

6 November to 1 December

  • Applications are assessed.

8 to 31 January 2024

  • Groups with the strongest applications will be invited to interview.

March 2024

  • Successful applicants announced.
  • Groups will then enter the pre-opening phase.