An extra 883 specialist school places in mainstream and special schools in Surrey will be provided over the next four years under plans outlined by Surrey County Council.

Julie Iles, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for All Age Learning, said: “Crucially, this plan will allow our children and young people with special education needs and disabilities, to attend school closer to their homes. This not only reduces their travel-time, but also enables them to establish stronger links with their local communities and develop their independence.

“Our vision for children and young people in Surrey is that irrespective of differences, every one of them is given the opportunity to achieve their full potential and contribute to their community. Improving early identification of education needs in mainstream schools, and providing for those needs in the pupil’s local school, will free up places in special schools and will undoubtedly help ensure that no young person in the SEND community is left behind.”

These plans are in response to the growing demand for specialist school places in Surrey. They will ensure that more provision is available in the county, including the proposal to build a new SEND school to the west of Surrey, on a piece of land generously donated by Woking Borough Council.

There will also be an increase in places available within mainstream schools for children and young people with special educational needs.