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We are delighted to have been selected as the sponsor for a brand new special school located near Towcester for children and young people between the ages of 4 and 18 with autism and Severe Learning Difficulties. The school is set to open its doors in September 2025.

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.  

We will use this page to keep you updated with progress.

Selection process for a sponsor

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

We currently sponsor 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. 

Planning approval

The unanimous approval by West Northamptonshire Council’s planning committee on Tuesday 23rd January 2024 marked a positive step forward in addressing the increasing demand for specialist placements in West Northamptonshire.  

Building works start

Leading construction firm Wilmott Dixon are underway with the development of Tiffield Academy. We commemorated the occasion on Friday 15th March 2024 with a ground-breaking ceremony where stakeholders came together to mark the start of the project, which will take shape over the next 18 months.

We joined Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills at West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) and representatives from Wilmott Dixon.

You can read more here.

Staff recruitment

The Principal vacancy is now live

A ‘once in a career’ opportunity is available to lead the brand new Tiffield Academy as its inaugural Principal. 

We’re looking for an exceptional leader who:

  • is excited about providing the very best education for students with complex special educational needs and has significant experience of working with students with autism
  • is passionate about developing an aspirational curriculum which is adapted to the needs of individuals and focuses on what’s really important
  • is able to inspire leaders, teachers and support staff to be the best they can be and is committed to supporting the professional development of their team
  • is able to lead the team of professionals working around the students and engage with stakeholders including therapists, the Local Authority and care workers
  • has the vision, organisation and proven track record in school improvement to ensure a high level of performance across the Academy
  • has an effective leadership style that encourages innovation and confidence and builds a positive culture amongst staff
  • can build positive relationships with staff, pupils and parents alike
  • is able to demonstrate the values that underpin our approach to supporting students 

Find out more and apply here.

External Links

Work starts on the new special school located in Towcester | West Northamptonshire Council (

Planning for Tiffield special school gets the green light | West Northamptonshire Council (

West Northamptonshire Council set to deliver a brand new special school from Autumn 2025 | West Northamptonshire Council (