The council is seeking proposals from education trusts to open a new special school in Bury.

The new 60-place special school, planned to open in September 2025, will serve pupils between the ages of 11-16 and cater for children and young people with social emotional and mental Health (SEMH) needs.

The council also expects there to be a large degree of co-existence with other special educational needs and disabilities, such as autistic spectrum condition.

The school will act as a centre of excellence in the area, providing staff training and development locally, as well as multi-disciplinary outreach services.

The proposal has been given the green light by the government.

While councils are not allowed to build and run new schools, they play an important part in attracting and supporting potential educational providers who would do so.

Applications are now open, with the deadline to submit interest is Friday, October 21.

Cllr Lucy Smith, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “The needs of SEND children in Bury are a top priority for me, and I am delighted that a new special school has been agreed for Bury, which will play a vital part in the transformation of our provision.”

Councillors were told that demand for specialist provision has continued to grow year-on-year at both primary and secondary school level, but historically Bury has limited special school capacity.

This means that special schools have had to cater for pupils with an increasing range of needs, including those who present with SEMH needs.

This puts significant pressure on the existing special school places and also increases the demand for Independent Non-Maintained Out of Borough (OOB) places.

Cllr Smith added: “The new school would therefore have the benefit of allowing children to remain in Bury, close to their families and friends and appropriate early intervention and support.

“The school will greatly enhance SEMH provision in the borough and increase the overall range and type of provision that is available to support the successful education of children and young people in Bury.”

Further information and guidance about how to apply is available at Apply to open a special free school is available at