Worcestershire Special Free School

Worcestershire Special Free School

New special school for children with Autism to be built in Malvern.


In 2023 the Department for Education invited applications from proposer groups to open a new special free school in Worcestershire.  In October 2023, Worcestershire County Council were notified the bid had been successful.

What is the specification for the school?

The school specification document sets out the key factual details about:

  • the rationale, context and need for the school
  • details on the commissioning of places, including the involvement of any other LAs commissioning places
  •  a brief description of the existing provision in the area
  • future expected growth in pupil numbers
  • how the LA expects places within the school to be filled

Worcestershire Special Free School - Contextual Info (PDF)

The Department for Education are responsible for the delivery of the new school.

What's happening next?

Autumn 2023: Assessment of Trust applications by Department for Education and Worcestershire Children First

January 2024: Interviews of Trusts by Department for Education and Worcestershire Children First

March 2024: Worcestershire County Council Cabinet – requested to approve the site and lease (read Cabinet papers in full)

Spring 2024: Successful Trust announced

Mid-November 2024:  site surveys and feasibility stage complete

Early 2025:  procurement of contractor to develop design for planning application

2026 to 2027:  construction of the new school

September 2027: New school opens

If you have any questions or would like any further information about the new school, please email: spp@worcschildrenfirst.org.uk

Who will run the school?

The Department for Education have announced that MacIntyre Academies has been chosen to run the new autism school in Malvern. The Secretary of State for Education has written to confirm that the application from MacIntyre Academies to establish Enterprise Academy should proceed to the next stage of the free school’s process – the “pre-opening phase”.

Working closely with Worcestershire Children First and Worcestershire County Council, Enterprise Academy will offer specialist education for 120 pupils aged 5 to 19 with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The final decision to open any free school depends on the Secretary of State entering into a funding agreement (a legally binding contract which contains the terms and conditions upon which a free school is funded) with the academy trust proposing to set up the school.

Engagement events for potential sponsors'

Engagement events for potential applicants were held on 6 and 8 June 2023. The slides from the event, and a Questions and Answers document, are available below. 

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