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Official sponsor approved for new Specialist School in Elmbridge

A new school in Elmbridge will provide high quality specialist education for autistic children and children who have communication and interaction needs. Hopescourt School will create up to 80 additional specialist school places in its first year of opening in 2024, increasing to 200 by 2028/29.  

Hopescourt School will give residents in Elmbridge and surrounding areas, closer access to a new special school and reduce the need for children to take long journeys to get to their education setting each day. The new school will help contribute to Surrey County Council’s commitment to increase the total number of locally available specialist school places from around 3,700 to up to 6,000 places by 2030, so that all children and young people can grow, develop, and stay close to their community. 

The Secretary of State for Education, James Cleverly and Regional Schools Commissioner, Claire Burton approved Bourne Education Trust as the official sponsor for the new special school in Walton-on-Thames in July 2022. This means that the school will be run by Bourne Education Trust and Surrey County Council will manage the admissions for local autistic children with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) who require a special school placement.  

Denise Turner Stewart, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning said, “We are delighted that Bourne Education Trust has been named as Hopescourt’s official sponsor.   

Bourne Education Trust submitted a strong bid closely aligned to Surrey’s All Age Autism Strategy that aims to break down inequalities that autistic people of all ages can face.

Hopescourt will provide a specialist curriculum for autistic children with opportunities to achieve healthy, independent and fulfilling lives, helping Surrey County Council to achieve its ambition of keeping children rooted in their local communities, ensuring that no child in Surrey is left behind.

Alex Russell, CEO of Bourne Education Trust said, “We are proud to have been nominated as the successful sponsors for Hopescourt School and excited to be working with Surrey County Council to help deliver its long term strategy for those pupils with special education needs and disabilities. Inclusion defines our culture, and we ensure that our schools are at the heart of their communities in Surrey, Hampshire, and Richmond.

Hopescourt School will be no different. Working in partnership with Freemantles School in Woking, we have ambitious plans to bring the best of both the specialist and mainstream sectors together to equip our pupils for success.”

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