East Yorkshire council backs parent bid for free school

A council is backing a parent-led campaign to set up a special school on the East Yorkshire coast.

The proposed school in Holderness would be a free school, funded by central government, but run by parents instead of East Yorkshire council.

Campaigners claim the school is needed to reduce travel times to existing special schools across the region.

A bid has been submitted for government approval and if successful the school could be open by September 2014.

A spokesman for East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: "The council is supportive of their wish to establish a free school provision in the east of the county as it would increase the range of schools for parents/carers to consider for their children in conjunction with the local authority."

Travel sickness

There are special schools in Goole, Driffield, Welton and Hull but campaigners say some children have a return journey of up to four hours because of limited places in schools nearer home.

Parent Julie Sherman said long-distance travelling was having a "great impact" on children.

"We know that children travelling a long distance to school have got various degrees of difficulty and sickness," she said.

"They can travel up to four hours a day with travel sickness and arrive there feeling not very well at all and then get home at the end of the day and not feel very well again."

Free schools were introduced by the government in 2010.

They are established as academies, independent of local authorities and with increased control over their curriculum, teachers' pay and conditions, and the length of school terms and days.

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