A new special school for Harrow


It’s fantastic news for families with children who have severe learning difficulties.

  • 292 new school places for Harrow children and young people with severe learning difficulties and autism
  • School will be built at 265 The Ridgeway West Harrow, now owned by the council
  • The Department for Education announced the approval of plans for the new Harrow SEND school.

Yesterday (Thursday 9 May) the Department for Education approved the London Borough of Harrow’s bid for a new special school in the borough. It will provide a significant and much needed expansion of special school places. It follows the Council's continued engagement with the Secretary of State and her officials. The bid was actively supported by Harrow's schools.  

Harrow will get an extra 292 school places for local children aged 4 to 19 with complex needs. This will bring significant benefits to families in Harrow and the council - reducing the costs associated with travel and outer borough school placement.

The school which will be located at 265 The Ridgeway will be Harrow’s first special school for 20 years that will support children from age 4 to post 16, from primary school, through high school and on into sixth form – creating a place to stay and learn. It will build on the high-quality special education already available locally. By expanding capacity and the range of support on offer it means we can offer more to local children.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Paul Osborn, said:

“We’ve been working towards this moment for many years – it's truly amazing news for our borough. This decision enables us to deliver something truly life-changing - a great facility that will benefit kids and young people in Harrow for decades to come.”

Demand for school places for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) is growing. Not just in Harrow but nationally.  This announcement coincides with a council decision to provide a further 30 places at Alexandra School, one of four existing special schools in Harrow.

Harrow’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Hitesh Karia, said:

“Parents often tell me about the challenges they face - this new school will provide invaluable support to them and their children. We are going further with special needs places. I am also pleased that we approved additional SEND places at Alexandra School. Both are fantastic achievements that show our commitment to put residents first and support those most in need.”

SEND places are also provided in Harrow’s mainstream schools, but some children with additional needs currently attend special schools outside the borough.

Harrow’s plans to create a new centre for SEND in West Harrow will build on the high-quality special education already available locally. And by expanding capacity and the range of support on offer, more Harrow children will in future receive the support they need directly in our community.

Published: 10th May 2024