Additional school places for Bexley children and young people

Bexley has been awarded £9.5 million for additional school places for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The funding is a result of a successful bid for capital money from the Department for Education (DfE).

Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Richard Diment said:

“This is great news for Bexley parents and carers.  We are delighted with this additional funding which reflects the quality of the bid that we submitted to the DfE and our proven track record of delivering new SEND school places within Bexley.”

Most of the funding will be for the expansion of Shenstone Specialist School. The expansion is one of the Council’s exciting and innovative proposals that form part of our DfE Safety Valve Programme and will further improve our local offer for Bexley young people with SEND.

This additional capacity will provide up to 20 specialist secondary places allowing Shenstone Specialist School to become an all through school and extending its age provision from ages 2 to 11 to 2 to 19. The additional accommodation will be adjacent to the new Cornerstone SEN Free School which will be fully completed this summer and will create an SEN hub.

The DfE Safety Valve programme aims to encourage councils to transform how they provide support for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

This funding award is separate and in addition to the recent announcement in March on the Council securing just under £30 million of extra funding for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

The £30 million extra funding will enable the Council to:

  • expand our existing special school provision
  • increase access to local SEN special school places
  • provide additional resources for early intervention
  • enhance support for primary and secondary settings
  • provide more opportunities for supported internship

You can find ongoing updates to the Safety Valve programme via this link to the Local Offer:

You can find below the most recent update on the progress of the Safety Valve:

SEND Safety Valve Programme Update June 2024

Information about the Safety Valve can also be found via this link to the Local Offer:

Bexley’s Safety Valve Programme – New pages on the Local Offer website | Bexley Local Offer