New Special School To Be Built At Higham Ferrers

The Duchy of Lancaster has agreed to release 2.2 hectares of land for the building of a new free school at Rushden on its historic Higham Ferrers estate.

Built by the Department for Education and to be run by Friars Academy Trust, this specially designed secondary school will offer places to 145 students with special education needs. Places will be offered to 11 to 19 year olds with moderate to severe learning difficulties, including students with autism and those with an education health and care plan naming the school. Admissions will be coordinated via Northampton County Council’s Education, Health and Care team. 

Due for completion in 2020, the project includes the construction of a new single-storey school building on a greenfield site to the east of the A6 previously used for grazing. The site also borders the eastern boundary of Moulton College and the project plans include the redevelopment of the surrounding area, including an increased provision of sports facilities for community use.

Suzzanne Ijewsky, Executive Headteacher of Friars Academy commented: “I am delighted that a site has now been secured for this much-needed school which will help meet the rising demand for additional special school places in Northamptonshire.  Friars East Free School will mirror the outstanding curriculum, pastoral support and extra-curricular opportunities offered at Friars Academy, enabling our children and young people to maximise their potential.”

Duchy Head of Rural Christopher Sparrow added: “We already have strong links with neighbouring Moulton College and are very pleased to be able to facilitate this important new facility for the area. The school environment has a really important role to play in education and it is critical that the buildings and grounds are designed to cater for the specific needs of these students. We look forward to watching the new building take shape in the months ahead.”

Construction is expected to start on site in late summer 2019.