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Samuel Ward Academy Trust have announced that they are bidding to run a new special free school in Romford.

They are developing plans which will be submitted to the Department for Education and the London Borough of Havering at the end of November.

The Trust’s proposals meet published specifications for new special schools which SWAT believe they have the infrastructure, vision and experience to deliver.

The bid to open the Samuel Ward Havering Special Free School will meet the London Borough of Havering’s specification for a new special school serving children aged 3 to 16 in Albert Road, Romford.

They will contribute the expertise established at Churchill Special Free School, in Haverhill, which was rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted – while acknowledging every school and community requires an individual and tailored approach.

Our culture

The Samuel Ward Special Free School culture supports and challenges learners to become confident, successful and independent adults.

Our ethos is to develop a flexible and personalised approach that ensures each learner makes progress in all areas of their learning. We challenge the traditional ways of working, pushing boundaries with regard to intervention and support for all pupils.

Samuel Ward Academy Trust believe that a network of support and partnership between pupils, parents/carers, other schools, specialists and external agencies provides the best opportunities for individual needs to be addressed.

Our aims

Our aim is to provide an education that delivers outstanding outcomes for children with social, emotional and mental health needs and/or for those on the autistic spectrum.

Underpinning this will be high expectations and aspirations for all which means we shall ensure all children make good progress from whatever their starting points are and are supported to achieve accreditation and qualifications which enhance their life chances.

For this reason we shall establish five phases in the school – an Early Years Phase, A Key Stage 1 Phase, a Key Stage 2 phase, a Key Stage 3 phase and a Key Stage 4 phase.

Each of these phases will have distinctive features and an appropriate curriculum offer. The nursery (Early Years) phase will include assessment of a child’s future needs.

Our main offer within the curriculum will be to provide an enriched curriculum with regular access to learning outside the classroom. This will also help to develop children’s friendship and social skills.

Within the phases we shall combine a strong curriculum offer with multi-agency and therapeutic support and we shall work in partnership with the London Borough of Havering and other local providers to deliver this. We will also seek advice and support from other providers who have a track record of establishing good practice.

We want your views

To find out more about our bid, please visit our Havering school bid Facebook page.

We want to know what parents, carers and pupils think about our plans. Please let us know by completing our online survey.

If you have any other questions or you want to be in touch, in the first instance please contact ltaylor@swatrust.co.uk.