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Laidlaw Schools Trust welcomes go-ahead for new Newcastle free school


Sep 7, 2016

Laidlaw Schools Trust (LST) today welcomed the Department for Education decision to back its application for a new school in Newcastle to support children with complex behavioural needs.

The Alternative Provision Free School in the west end of Newcastle will provide specialist support for pupils aged 5 to13-years-old.

It will work with youngsters with complex behavioural and emotional needs referred mainly by headteachers of schools across the city.

Phil Marshall, Education Director of LST, said: “The bid to establish an Alternative Provision Free School was developed through a team of professionals in response to the needs of our community’s younger children.

“Our aim is to provide intensive specialist support for primary aged pupils and their families in order to better meet their complex needs at a young age.

“We plan to work with local schools, parents and other specialist support services to further enhance and add capacity to the education provision that is currently available.”

LST Alternative Provision Free School will provide:-

  • A new Alternative Provision Free School in west Newcastle for around 80 pupils aged 5 to 13
  • Turnaround provision for pupils from Year 1 to Year 8 (aged 5 to 13). This means that they will attend the Alternative Provision Free School for a period of time (up to a year) to access specialist teaching and support, with the aim of returning to a mainstream school
  • Support for parents and carers
  • Support and training for staff

Peter Fair, CEO of LST, said: “Much thought and planning has gone into developing this bid and I’m very pleased that this new Alternative Provision Free School will add much needed specialist capacity to the education provision currently available.”

A location for the new school has yet to be agreed but it is hoped to have the new facility open by September 2017.

The Laidlaw Schools Trust has three academies in Newcastle – Excelsior, Atkinson Road Primary and Thomas Walling Primary. They are supported by their sponsor Lord Laidlaw, a successful businessman and entrepreneur.

By Emily