Government gives approval to ACE Schools for new special school

ACE Schools Trust has announced that they will be opening a free school in Tiverton after its application was approved by the Regional Schools Commissioner and the Department for Education.

The school, which will cater for pupils of moderate to high ability with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) aged 11-16, is due to open in September 2019 and will be called Charlton Lodge and will be co-educational.

ACE Schools Trust was formed in 2016 as a provider of alternative education. Originally based in Plymouth, they now operate around Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall from 16 different locations in order to provide education and support services for pupils who are not in mainstream education.

They currently run two schools – Courtlands Special School and ACE Schools Plymouth, both of which are rated Good by Ofsted. ACE Schools Plymouth caters for pupils aged 4 to 18, whilst Courtlands caters for primary aged pupils with moderate learning difficulties, Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties (SEMH) and other complex needs.

SEND provision is desperately needed in Mid Devon, with the demand for places growing and projected growth in housing of 70-80,000 new homes in the next 15-20 years meaning the already stretched provision will soon be strained further. Charlton Lodge will a long way towards mitigating for this, ensuring that more SEND pupils will get the high-quality education and support that they need.

As with other schools in the ACE Schools Trust, the leadership are committed to creating a nurturing and inclusive learning environment where pupils will have vast opportunities to progress and develop skills whilst feeling valued and respected. Building on their excellent reputation, an environment will be cultivated where high expectations are the norm; there are high levels of parental involvement and close collaboration with partner establishments.

Sarah Gillett, the CEO of ACE Schools Trust, said:
“Our expertise as a Trust and the commitment we have shown towards outstanding educational achievement for SEND pupils, combined with a holistic support approach, means that we are in an excellent position to open Charlton Lodge next September.”

“We are very much looking forward to working in partnership with the community in Tiverton, and are planning to engage with them throughout every stage.”