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100 more Specialist Schools ...
100 more Specialist Schools

14 new SEN Specialist Schools

Following the launch in December last year of guidance materials for a major expansion of the SEN strand of the specialist schools programme, a further 14 new SEN specialist schools have been designated to join the 12 SEN trailblazer schools already established, said schools minister Andrew Adonis today.

As with existing specialist schools, the SEN schools will be expected to undertake outreach activity and share their expertise, particularly with their mainstream counterparts, to support inclusion among special and mainstream schools across the country. The special schools will use their specialist status to extend the range of opportunities available to students which best meet their needs and interests.

An independent evaluation of the initial 12 trailblazer schools showed that the programme helped to further focus special schools on networking, partnership and outreach working, as well as on the wider Every Child Matters and Children's Services agenda.

To acquire SEN specialist status under the specialist schools programme the schools will specialise in one of the four areas of the SEN Code of Practice: communication and interaction; cognition and learning; behavioural, emotional and social development; or sensory and/or physical needs.

Mr Adonis said:

'I am delighted to announce that we now have a further 14 special schools joining the Specialist Schools programme. Specialist schools continue to drive up standards across the mainstream sector which is why I am pleased that special schools are now getting the same opportunities to excel.

'These newly designated SEN specialist schools, supported by additional Government funding, will work with both mainstream and other special schools to spread best practice and raise standards'.

The Specialist Schools programme has delivered real and significant improvements in standards and the Education Bill makes clear how the Government will build on this model to create more good local schools and attract more external partners into education.

The schools that have been successful today will begin operating as specialist schools from September.


1. Maintained and non-maintained special schools are eligible to apply for specialist status in one of ten curricular specialisms.

There are 30 special schools with specialist status for a curriculum specialism.

2. In 2005 a new strand of the Specialist Schools Programme was piloted to extend the choice available for maintained and non-maintained special schools, by allowing them to specialise in one of the areas of the SEN Code of Practice:

- communication and interaction

- cognition and learning

- behavioural, emotional and social development

- sensory and/or physical needs

3. 12 'trailblazer' schools were invited to participate in the first round of the programme in December 2004. All of the schools have now been designated as specialist schools, although one has deferred for a yearas they are in the process of going through a reorganisation.

4. In the White Paper, 'Higher Standards, Better Schools For All', we announced that we would seek to designate 50 new SEN-specialism specialist schools within the next 2 years, building on the 12 'trailblazers' already established. The White Paper also announced that we would: encourage more special schools to submit applications for a curriculum specialism, with a view to being able to designate around a further 50 schools which meet the standard by 2008; and commission an evaluation which compares the respective strengths of special schools with a curriculum or an SEN specialism to inform the roll out of the programme beyond 2008.

5. The department commissioned independent consultants nominated by Ofsted to carry out an evaluation of the initial phase of the SEN strand of the SSP. The application guidance and detailed arrangements for the next phase of the programme have been drawn up in the light of their findings.

6. Every Child Matters: Change for Children is a new approach to the well-being of children and young people from birth to age 19.

7. A list of successful schools follows.

Barrs Court School Herefordshire

Belmont School Gloucestershire

Bettridge School Gloucestershire

Broadfield School Lancashire

Chantry School Hillingdon

Glebe School Bromley

Glyne Gap School East Sussex

Hillside School, Longridge Lancashire

Hope School Wigan

James Rennie School Cumbria

Melland High School Manchester

Montacute School Poole

St Christopher School (The) Southend-on-Sea

Swiss Cottage School Camden

100 more Specialist Schools

Specialist schools continue to raise standards said Schools Minister Jim Knight today as he congratulated the 100 schools across the country that have been successful in their bid for specialist status.

Specialist schools consistently outperform other comprehensives with last years GCSE results showing that 59.7% of pupils in specialist schools achieved 5+A*-Cs at GCSE compared with 48.2% of pupils in non-specialists - a gap of more than 11 percentage points. They also continue to have greater success at improving performance for children in deprived areas than non-specialist schools.

Specialist schools have external sponsors, strong leadership and a clear sense of mission backed by challenging targets and partnerships with other schools. The resulting ethos and drive helps to deliver the excellent results we are seeing. Schools with specialist status receive almost£130 per pupil in additional funding each year for four years as well as£100,000 in capital funding to pay for new facilities and equipment to support their specialism.

The addition of a further 100 schools to the programme means that 82%of all maintained secondary schools are now specialist. The programme has delivered real and significant improvements in standards across the system. The challenge now is to ensure that all schools can benefit from these high standards. The Government is determined that excellent results and high expectation becomes the standard in for every pupil and in every school.

Building on the specialist schools model the new Trust schools will bring more external support into the sector and support our aims of improving the education for every young person - particularly the most disadvantaged.

Jim Knight said:

'Congratulations to all the schools that achieved specialist status today. They are now part of an ever growing network of schools driving up standards across the system. Focusing on those subjects relating to their chosen specialism these schools will develop a centre of excellence. We know that this leads to an improvement in standards across the whole school.'

'Over 2.6 million students are now being taught in a specialist school. We know they work and we know they are popular. Education is in an exciting era with record investments and record results across the board. Specialist schools are at the forefront of this.'

Elizabeth Reid, Chief Executive of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust said:

'Becoming a specialist school is an excellent achievement and I would like to echo Jim Knight's words and congratulate all those schools who have been awarded that status today. Having a specialism provides a school with a strong focus that enables them to raise standards across the whole curriculum and offer students a greater opportunity to realise their potential.

'Sharing best practice, creating partnerships with local businesses and engaging with the local community are all key elements of being a specialist school and the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust's network of over 3,000 schools gives them the support to do this.'

Of the 100 schools who have been awarded specialist status as a result of the latest application round the specialisms breakdown as

follows: 14 in Sport, 5 in languages, 16 in arts, 10 in Business & Enterprise, 2 in Engineering, 9 in Humanities, 19 in Maths and Computing, 2 in music, 10 in science, 5 in technology and 8 with combined specialisms.

The schools that have been successful today will begin operating as specialist schools from September. The vast majority of maintained secondary schools - a total of 2,602 schools - now have specialist status.

At the forefront of the programme are those areas of the country where all secondary schools have attained specialist status. Today Brent, Harrow and Hartlepool join 9 authorities from previous rounds in boasting 100% specialism.


This Press Notice applies to England.

1. There are currently 2379 secondary schools operating with specialist status and a total of 2602 designated schools.

2. Specialist schools have a focus on their chosen subject area but must meet National Curriculum requirements and deliver a broad and balanced education to all pupils. There are now ten categories of specialist school: Technology; Language; Arts; Sports; Business and Enterprise; Engineering; Mathematics & Computing; Science; Humanities and Music. Schools can also combine any two specialisms. Special schools may alternatively apply for the new special educational needs specialism.

3. To apply for specialist status, schools must raise£50,000 in private sector sponsorship (less in the case of small schools with under 500 pupils on roll) and draw up a four-year school and community plan to raise standards, increase provision and encourage take-up in their specialist subjects. Their community development plan will show how they will share the benefits of good practice, expertise and resources with other schools named in the plan and with identified groups within their wider community. The Government believes that widening schools' options in this way means they are able to develop their individual strengths, promote innovation and spread good practice throughout the whole school system.

4. In order to help them develop their specialism, specialist schools receive the following additional funding from the Government::

£100,000 for a capital project to enhance the facilities in the subjects related to the school's specialism; and recurrent funding of around£129 per pupil per year for four years, to implement their specialist school development plans. In addition to the£100,000 capital grant the school itself must raise£50,000 in unconditional sponsorship (less for small schools with under 500 pupils on roll) towards the capital project. All specialist schools are expected to target around one third of their specialist school recurrent funding on sharing resources and expertise in their specialist area with partner schools and the wider community.

5. In 2003 the Government introduced a 'Partnership Fund' to provide support to specialist school applicants that can demonstrate their sustained efforts to find sponsorship have been unsuccessful. The fund is administered by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust in accordance with DfES criteria. 334 schools have benefited so far.

6. A total of twelve Local Authorities are now 100% specialist:

Lambeth, North Somerset, Rutland, Wakefield, Plymouth, West Berkshire, Devon, Gateshead, North Tyneside, Brent, Harrow and Hartlepool.

7. A list of successful schools can be found follows.

Local Authority Specialism(s) School Name

Government Office


Essex Humanities Helena Romanes School and

Sixth Form Centre

Essex Maths & Computers Mountfitchet High School

Peterborough Sport and Arts Bushfield Community College

Suffolk Sports Hartismere High School

Suffolk Sports Westbourne High School

Government Office

East Midlands

Derby Maths & Computers Murray Park Community School

Derbyshire Maths & Computers Heritage Community School

Leicester Sports Ellesmere College

Leicester Science Moat Community College

Leicester Business & Riverside Community College


Leicestershire Science Wreake Valley Community


Lincolnshire Arts Caistor Yarborough School

Lincolnshire Technology The Thomas Cowley High School

Northamptonshire Sports Kingsthorpe Community College

Nottinghamshire Maths & Computers Harry Carlton Comprehensive


Nottinghamshire Technology Kimberley Comprehensive School

Nottinghamshire Science and The Becket School


Government Office


Barnet Language St Michael's Catholic Grammar


Brent Maths & Computers Cardinal Hinsley High School

Camden Music The Camden School for Girls

Ealing Humanities Drayton Manor High School

Enfield Business & St Anne's Catholic High School

Enterprise for Girls

Harrow Science Salvatorian Roman Catholic


Lewisham Maths & Computers Bonus Pastor Roman Catholic


Lewisham Arts Crofton School

Richmond upon Arts Hampton Community College


Tower Hamlets Arts Mulberry School for Girls

Waltham Forest Humanities Willowfield School

Government Office

North East

Durham Business & Greencroft School


Durham Sports Parkside Comprehensive School

Durham Humanities Peterlee St Bede's Catholic

Comprehensive School

Hartlepool Technology Dyke House Comprehensive


Northumberland Arts Collingwood Special School

Redcar and Science and Nunthorpe School

Cleveland Business &


Stockton-on-Tees Arts Billingham Campus School

Sunderland Arts Sandhill View School

Government Office

North West

Bolton Maths & Computers George Tomlinson School

Bury Maths & Computers Philips High School

Cheshire Arts Sandbach School

Cheshire Science Shavington High School

Knowsley Business & All Saints Catholic High

Enterprise School

Lancashire Sports Accrington Moorhead High


Lancashire Language Clitheroe Royal Grammar School

Liverpool Maths & Computers West Derby School

Oldham Humanities Breeze Hill School

Oldham Humanities St Augustine of Canterbury RC

High School

Rochdale Business & Hollingworth High School


Rochdale Maths & Computers St Joseph's Roman Catholic

High School

Salford Technology St George's RC High School

Sefton Technology Bootle High School

Sefton Science Deyes High School

St Helens Sports Lansbury Bridge School

Stockport Business & Offerton High School


Tameside Maths & Computers Alder Community High School

Trafford Sports Flixton Girls' High School

Wirral Business & Pensby High School for Girls

Enterprise and


Government Office

South East

Hampshire Sports Noadswood School

Hampshire Maths & Computers Test Valley School

Kent Business & Dover Grammar School for Boys


Kent Science Highsted Grammar School

Kent Sports Swan Valley Community School

Kent Maths & Computers The Charles Dickens School

Portsmouth Arts King Richard Secondary School

Surrey Arts The Beacon School

Government Office

South West

Bournemouth Arts Winton School

Cornwall Music The Roseland Community School

Gloucestershire Arts Barnwood Park High School for


Swindon Maths & Computers Churchfields School

and Science

Swindon Science and Maths Hreod Parkway School

& Computers

Wiltshire Arts Westwood St Thomas School

Government Office

West Midlands

Birmingham Arts Hall Green School

Birmingham Science Selly Oak School

Birmingham Arts The College High School

Birmingham Sports The Heartlands High School

Birmingham Business & The International School and

Enterprise Community College

Birmingham Humanities Waverley School

Dudley Maths & Computers The Dormston School

Herefordshire Language Weobley High School

Herefordshire Maths & Computers Wigmore High School

Sandwell Business & Manor High School (Foundation)

Enterprise and


Sandwell Sports The Meadows School

Solihull Humanities Lyndon School

Staffordshire Sports Chesterton Community High


Staffordshire Business & Paget High School


Staffordshire Maths & Computers Sir Graham Balfour High School

Telford and Engineering Hadley Learning Community


Walsall Arts Pool Hayes Community School

Warwickshire Humanities King Edward VI School

Warwickshire Language Polesworth High School

Warwickshire Humanities and Studley High School


Wolverhampton Language Colton Hills Community School

Worcestershire Science St Augustine's Catholic High


Government Office

Yorkshire and


Barnsley Science St Michael's Catholic and

Church of England High School

Bradford Business & Bingley Grammar School


Bradford Maths & Computers Carlton Bolling College

Bradford Sports Haycliffe Special School

East Riding of Maths & Computers Driffield School


North East Engineering Havelock School


North East Maths & Computers Humberston Comprehensive

Lincolnshire School

North Yorkshire Science Ermysted's Grammar School

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