BURY could be set to welcome a new school for dozens of children with special educational needs after proposals were given the green light.

A Bury Council bid to open a special free school in Bury has been successful and received Department for Education approval.

The school will provide education to 80 girls and boys, aged 11 to 16, with autistic spectrum disorders and social language and communication needs.

It is proposed the school will be located on a council freehold site in Elton, at the junction of Walshaw Road and David Street, adjacent to the primary school playing fields.

Bury Council said it is "delighted" by the DfE's decision.

The proposed school is one of 37 new special free schools opening across England ­— including six in the North West ­— under a Government scheme.

Thousands of school places will be created nationally for SEND pupils who may have been or are at risk of exclusion from mainstream education.

Bury has seen significant growth in the number of young children diagnosed with social communication difficulties, with around 80 per cent of children seen by Fairfield Hospital’s child development centre showing such interaction issues.

The Bury special free school application will now progress to a trust competition, and is seeking a sponsor to open the school, such as a community group, charity, teachers or existing education provider.

This follows a commitment from Education Secretary Damian Hinds, made last December, to green light all high-quality special free school bids.

Mr Hinds further announced a £250 million cash injection to local authorities for their high needs education budget.

The Education Secretary said: “Parents rightly want choice of where their child goes to school and to know that the education and support they receive will ignite that spark of potential that exists in all of us, so they can go on and succeed.‎

“We want every school to be a school for children with special educational needs and disabilities. That’s why we are investing significant funding into Special Education Needs units attached to mainstream schools and in additional support so children with education, health and care plans can access mainstream education.

“But we recognise some children require more specialist support. These new special free schools and alternative provision schools will make sure that more complex needs can be provided to help support every child to have a quality education.”