Skip to content ↓


Greenwood Academies Trust is delighted to announce that planning has been approved to build a new Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) school in Tiffield, near Towcester, West Northamptonshire.  

The school, to be named Tiffield Academy, is set to open its doors in September 2025. It will provide places for 230 children and young people between the ages of 4 and 18 with autism and Severe Learning Difficulties.  

Following a thorough selection process by West Northamptonshire Council, Greenwood Academies Trust was chosen as the sponsor for the school, reflecting the multi-academy trust’s dedication to providing high quality education and support for children with special needs.  

Greenwood Academies Trust currently has 37 academies across the East Midlands and East of England, including Purple Oaks Academy in Northampton which opened as a specialist free school for pupils with autism and/or Severe Learning Difficulties in 2017. Tiffield Academy will further expand the trust’s commitment to inclusivity and exceptional education.  

Located at the former St John’s Centre in Tiffield, which was previously used by the council for children and family services, the three-storey building will be specifically designed to create an optimal learning environment for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN), and Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD). The school will feature general and practical teaching spaces, a lift for upper-floor access, calm rooms, intervention rooms, and group rooms. Two halls will be provided for physical activities, music, drama and assembly spaces. Classrooms for younger pupils will be located close to sensory rooms, and two dining spaces will be provided for groups of pupils.  

The unanimous approval by West Northamptonshire Council’s planning committee on 23rd January marks a positive step forward in addressing the increasing demand for specialist placements in West Northamptonshire.  

Wayne Norrie, Chief Executive Officer at Greenwood Academies Trust, expressed his enthusiasm for the new special school, stating: “We are thrilled to have secured planning approval for Tiffield Academy. We are committed to creating a tailored and supportive learning environment for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, enabling them to thrive and reach their full potential. We very much look forward to welcoming our first pupils in September 2025!”  
With planning approval now secured, Greenwood Academies Trust will be working with West Northamptonshire Council and Wilmott Dixon to deliver this vital new SEND school for the young people of West Northamptonshire, starting with the demolition of existing buildings at the St John’s Centre.