The Cavendish School Newsletter 4
The Cavendish School will be a special school dedicated to young people with autism spectrum condition (ASC). The school will serve families across Cambridgeshire, offering places for children with an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) in Years 5 to 13.
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Today, after months of hard work, we formally submitted our free school application to the Government Department for Education (DfE).  Comprising over 140 pages, the bid is detailed and authoritative.  We are very hopeful that it will be successful.  

It has been a busy and exciting period.  The new multi-academy trust that will oversee The Cavendish School has been developing.  The Morris Education Trust has been named to reflect the influence of Henry Morris, Chief Education Officer for Cambridgeshire from 1922 - 1954, who believed that education should lastingly improve people’s lives.  His vision for education was for schools to be an intrinsic and highly valued part of their communities.  Last Thursday the regional Headteacher Board approved the Morris Education Trust application to be what is called a ‘sponsor’. This means that the Trust is seen by the Department for Education as a strong organisation with the capacity and capability to work with other schools, including the proposed new special school.

In relation to The Cavendish School application, the process now includes several stages.  Firstly we expect to find out in 6-8 weeks whether our application has been shortlisted to progress.  If successful, at this stage we will be invited for interview at the DfE to present our case and to answer specific and detailed questions about our plans.  This should take place before Christmas and we will learn the outcome in early 2017.  If we are successful at this stage then the DfE will approve our application to progress to the pre-opening stage.  
The Secretary of State will not confirm an opening date until an application is established in the pre-opening stage, but our ambition is to complete building works in time for the school to open in September 2018.  

Thank you to all the colleagues, parents, young people and professionals who have contributed so far to help shape the vision for our new school.  We continue to need your input and support.  We will update you on progress, as well as opportunities to get involved, as we move forward.
Download the booklet

If you know someone who may be interested in finding out more about The Cavendish School, please share the green button link below.  Printed copies are also available by post on request.
Introducing The Cavendish School booklet

Prospective Students

We continue to invite parents/ carers and students to express interest in a place at the proposed The Cavendish School in 2018 and beyond.  By expressing interest you are helping to demonstrate that there is demand for the new school, which is crucial for making the case to the Department for Education.  

Click here to express interest

The feedback we receive from you is crucial in helping to shape the new school proposal.  We encourage you to ask questions via our website.  Here are answers to some questions recently asked:

When will The Cavendish School open for students?
The application to the Department for Education was submitted on 28 September 2016.  The assessment process will take place over the next few months, and we will learn if the new school is given the go-ahead in 2017.  If everything goes to plan and we get the building project complete in time, the school will then open for students in September 2018.  The timescale is very tight and dependent on approval from the DfE.  As we progress we will keep you updated through our newsletter and website.

What age children will be able to attend The Cavendish School?
In the first year, 2018, students will only be admitted for Years 5, 6 and 7 and in Year 12. In each subsequent year, we will admit ‘upwards’ (so the Year 7s from 2018 become the Year 8s of 2019 and so on) to develop and grow the culture of the school successfully.  Once The Cavendish School is est
ablished it will welcome young people from age 9 to age 19 (school Year 5 to Year 13).  If you have a child with ASC who may be interested in attending then please let us know

Will my child be moved to The Cavendish School from their existing school?
All children holding an EHCP that determines the primary need as ASC will be, in theory, eligible for a place at The Cavendish School.  However, this doesn’t mean students will automatically be placed at the proposed new school, nor that they will be moved from an existing school where they are established and settled.  The individual needs of each child is the most important factor, and any decisions will be made in collaboration with the child/young person, the family and with the Local Authority. 

What level of individual need does the school plan to accept?
There is no black and white answer to this question as each young person is an individual with a unique set of needs, strengths and interests. When a parent expresses interest we would start an investigatory process to learn about their child. The aim is to establish whether The Cavendish School would be right for each individual, and whether the school can meet their needs within the cohort of students.  Each student who attends The Cavendish School will have a bespoke programme of learning that is tailored to their own needs and interests. On offer will be an eclectic range of therapies and learning opportunities designed to support and challenge them as an individual.
Will the school cater for girls as well as boys?
The Cavendish School will cater for both girls and boys whose primary need is autism.  The presentation of ASC is girls can be very different from boys. Many of the diagnostic systems and stereotypes of ASC are based on males, so there are likely to be many girls with ASC in schools whose needs are not identified or understood. Our challenge is to develop a programme which responds to gender-related ASC differences.  Sharonne Horlock, who sits on the National ASC and Girls Forum, is drawing on the latest research and thinking to inform plans.

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The Cavendish School · Impington Village College · New Road · Impington, Cambridgeshire CB24 9LX · United Kingdom

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