Leigh Academies Trust to Open New Special Educational Needs School in Swanley

Leigh Academies Trust to Open New Special Educational Needs School in Swanley

Leigh Academies Trust (LAT) has announced plans to open a new special educational needs (SEN) school in Swanley. The Department for Education has given the green light for the construction of the new school on the site of the former Birchwood Primary School, off Russett Way. This addition to LAT’s portfolio of special schools, which includes the highly-regarded Milestone in New Ash Green and Snowfields in Maidstone, is expected to open its doors to students in September 2026, pending planning permission.

The proposed school, provisionally named Leigh Academy Swanley (LAS), aims to provide a supportive and tailored education for children with additional needs. This news has been met with excitement and praise from the Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan, who recognizes the positive impact that special schools can have on students’ lives.

LAT’s chief executive, Simon Beamish, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, saying, “We are thrilled to be one of only seven multi-academy trusts in England selected to open a brand new SEN free school. We have a proven track record of successfully launching new schools and are committed to providing the best education possible for children with special needs.”

The trust’s existing special schools, Milestone and Snowfields, have established themselves as beacons of excellence in their communities, providing exceptional education and care for their students. With the addition of Leigh Academy Swanley, LAT hopes to continue this legacy and positively impact the sector as a whole.

The trust is eager to begin implementing their plans for LAS and looks forward to the positive impact it will have on the local community. As the demand for special education continues to grow, the opening of this new school is a crucial step in ensuring that every child receives the support and education they deserve.

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