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Church of England welcomes opportunities to open Special Schools

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The Church of England has welcomed a Government announcement of proposals which would allow for the opening of special faith-based academies. The Chief Education Officer says proposals will help Church of England serve the needs of more children.

Special schools are those designed specifically to cater to the needs of children with special educational needs or disabilities. These schools provide tailored support and interventions that may not be available in mainstream schools.

The Church of England’s Chief Education Officer, Nigel Genders, said:“This broad package is good news because it will mean more people can benefit from the education provided by Church of England Schools which is so highly valued by parents and children and young people.

“By enabling Church of England special schools, we can serve the needs of more children in more communities, irrespective of their faith background.

“With over 50 per cent of schools now being academies it is vital to continue to develop the system to enable schools of all types to be part of a trust with a shared purpose and vision for the common good.”

The announcement also details plans to lift the existing 50 per cent cap on faith-based admissions in new free schools. However, since the introduction of Free schools, the focus of new Church of England provision has been to provide education places as needed in the local community, and The Church has already opened more than 30 new free schools on this basis.

Nigel Genders added: “Church of England schools are committed to serving the whole community, including people of all faiths and none, and today’s announcement about the faith cap does not impact on that commitment.”