The Windmill School
In September 2016, the Secretary of State for Education approved our plans to open The Windmill School at a location in the Barnet area. The Windmill School will be a special free school for learners aged 5 to 18 years with a diagnosed autistic spectrum condition and an Education, Health & Care Plan. When full, it will offer places for 90 children and young people whose autism is the major barrier to their learning and who would find the busy environments of either mainstream or generic special schools too challenging.
Current government policy is that free school sites will be acquired by the Education and Skills Funding Agency through their property company, LocatEd. This means that neither Barnet Council, Barnet Special Education Trust or The Windmill School Development Group have any control over the acquisition or purchase of a suitable site. The current high value of land in the Barnet area has made the site search challenging. However, LocatED are currently in negotiation with third-party property developers with a view to submitting an application to Barnet Planning Authority before the end of 2018. If successful, it is possible the school may open as early as September 2020.
We received tremendous interest from parents across the local area and beyond for our original proposal, and we are sure those parents must share our frustration at the delay to our progress. We must all come to terms with the extremely challenging commercial and regulatory environment in which we are trying to establish the school. Meanwhile, we will continue to work closely with officers from the Department for Education, Education and Skills Funding Agency, LocatED and the London Borough of Barnet to ensure our vision will eventually become reality.
Updated: 2 August 2018
Barnet Special Education Trust, Oak Lodge School, Heath View, London N2 0QY
0208 444 6711