Worcestershire’s cabinet has approved plans for a new special school in Malvern.

Plans for the school, which will cater for up to 120 pupils with autism, were unveiled last year.

The Department for Education recently announced it will be run by MacIntyre Academies, which will work with the county council and Worcestershire Children’s First to establish the Enterprise Academy.

At a meeting at the end of March, cabinet members formally approved the siting of the school on the site of the Sunshine Children’s Centre in Poolbrook and agreed to a 125-year lease.

Councillors welcomed the increased provision and the financial benefits it would bring for Worcestershire.

It was pointed out that 83 children with autism are currently in out-of-county placements and that Worcestershire has a higher number of children in special schools than the national average.

Neil Macmillan, chair of MacIntyre Academies, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to run the Enterprise Academy.

“We are committed to providing high quality education, tailored to the unique needs of every pupil, creating an environment where all young people have confidence and belief in their potential and be ready for adult life.

“We look forward to collaborating with Worcestershire County Council, Worcestershire Children First, families and the wider community to create a school where pupils can thrive.”

Mel Barnett, director for all age disability (0-25) at Worcestershire Children First, said: “[This] is a significant step towards the opening of the new autism school.

“We look forward to working with MacIntyre Academies and continue to work with the Department for Education to finalise the school site and help meet the need for additional, specialist, high quality places in Worcestershire.”

The new school is expected to open in September 2027.

Governors at Fort Royal school in Worcester wrote to the county council last month to express concern a lack of special needs school places could have “dire consequences” for children.

And staff at Wishing Well Nursery said more specialist places are also needed for pre-school children.

The new school in Malvern will cater for children aged between five and 19 years old.