FOUR new free schools in the region have been given the go-ahead by the Government.

The applications had been made for a secondary school in County Durham, a primary school for children with special educational needs in Middlesbrough and two primary schools in North Yorkshire.

Bishop Auckland College is leading the bid for Durham Gate Academy, which will be in the south west Durham area.

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A Department for Education (DfE) spokesperson said an exact location for the school has not yet been found but it will have space for around 120 pupils.

A free primary school for children with special needs is also planned for Middlebrough.

The DfE was unable to confirm any further details about the proposed Discovery Special Academy.

In North Yorkshire, the Cambrai Community Primary School, at Catterick, will provide 420 places to meet demand created by the expansion of Catterick Garrison and will be led by the Lingfield Academy Trust.

The other development is the Keeble Gateway Academy, which will serve the Sowerby Gateway development near Thirsk. It will provide 210 places and the successful bid was submitted by the Elevate Multi-Academy Trust.

North Yorkshire County Council welcomed the announcement.

Pete Dwyer, director of children and young people’s services said: “We fully supported these bids because there is a real need for additional primary school places in both of these areas.

“These proposals have been part of our planning for new places for some time. They will help to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to serve new housing development and provide access to great local educational provision.”

The Government announced it had approved 131 new free schools, creating 69,000 school places, today and says it is on track to have opened 500 by 2020.