New free school to open in Hailsham

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A new free school will be opening in Hailsham.

Educational trust Beckmead Family of Schools is creating a school to support “high-needs” children and young people in 2 hectares of land off Reef Way.

The school is due to open in September 2020 and will support 80 children and young people aged four to 16 with complex and severe SEMH needs when full in 2022.

Chief executive officer of the trust Jonty Clark said, “We are very proud of the quality of the support we provide to the children and young people we educate. The next step on this journey is our new free school in Hailsham.

“Our approach is underpinned by a belief in young people and in understanding how they can flourish. We have a strong sense of community, we believe in social justice, and at the centre of our work is a belief that giving and receiving love is essential.

“We have a highly committed, empathetic and skilled team of staff who care deeply for these children and young people, giving us the right to educate them, so that they can lead successful and confident lives.”

The Beckmead Family of Schools, rated Outstanding by Ofsted, currently supports 300 children and young people aged between five and 19 on eight different sites, all in Croydon.

The organisation specialises in support for traumatised children and young people with social, emotional and mental health issues (SEMH), autism and challenging behaviour.

Dr Clark said, “We are absolutely delighted the Government has approved our application and we feel very privileged that we will be able to support more children and young people going forward, including those in East Sussex.

“All too often, those who are the most vulnerable at school age and through their lives also have to contend with poor teaching, an inadequate curriculum, unprofessional staff and shoddy accommodation.

“It should not be like that and the compelling aim of our organisation is to transform the educational experiences of disadvantaged youngsters thus offering them opportunities to empower themselves towards fruitful, sustainable outcomes for the rest of their lives.”