Secretary of State for Education approves funding agreement for new special educational needs school in Manchester


The Orchards School is delighted to announce that Lord Nash, Secretary of State for Education, has confirmed the Funding Agreement. This means the school can now open in September 2016 in the Stretford area of Manchester.


The Orchards will offer an outstanding education to primary aged pupils with complex learning difficulties working in partnership with Trafford Local Authority and drawing upon the expertise, aspirations and infrastructure of The Dunham Trust. It will operate as one of three primary complex learning special schools, all three located geographically as local community special schools in the Trafford Borough.


The Dunham Trust received the news of its funding approval for The Orchards in a letter from Lord Nash: “I am very pleased to confirm that the Secretary of State has agreed to enter into a funding agreement with The Dunham Trust in relation to The Orchards School, which is due to open in September. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the great commitment and energy which you and your colleagues have shown in reaching this point. Free schools form an integral part of the Government's education policy to improve choice and drive up standards in schools. I am therefore delighted that The Orchards will bring new opportunities for children in Trafford. I wish you all the best with the school's opening in September 2016 and in the future."


Admissions are still open for The Orchards. Parents can apply for a place by contacting their Local Authority’s Admissions Team.


For more information about this new school parents can visit the school’s website at  or join the school’s Facebook page at

Parents can also contact the school directly on 0161 748 0670


Success at The Orchards Information Open Days

The Orchards invited parents who have children with statements/Education Care Plans to meet The Trust at their drop in events on Tuesday 12th January (1pm-3pm) and Thursday 14th January (9am-11am) at Acre Hall Primary School, Irlam Road, Flixton, Manchester M41 6NA.


The Head of School, met lots of different people and stated: “It is a crucial decision time for parents as regards to which school they send their child. At The Orchards we are offering families an alternative choice if they are still undecided and looking for the best education and school environment to meet their child’s needs. Before they make their decision, this event will enable parents and prospective pupils to come and learn what The Orchards will be like".


There will be additional open days to look round the refurbishment of the temporary site at Acre Hall. Please check the website or follow The Orchards on Facebook and Twitter for further details.