Two new schools creating 270 places for children with special educational needs and disabilities have moved a significant step closer.

Plans for the new sites, in Great Yarmouth and Downham Market, were unveiled in August last year as part of Norfolk County Council's efforts to expand SEND provisions in the county.

These plans have now taken a big step forward, with the Department of Education appointing academy trusts to run the schools once they are open.

The Downham Market site is set to be run by the Cambridge-based Eastern Learning Alliance, while Unity Schools Partnership has been chosen to lead the Yarmouth site.

Eastern Learning Alliance currently runs one other special school - The Cavendish School in Cambridgeshire - while Unity is in charge of four sites in Suffolk.

Penny Carpenter, cabinet member for children's services at Norfolk County Council said the two trusts had "exceptional track records in delivering excellent education and support for children with SEND".

She said: "This announcement is a significant step toward expanding specialist education provision in Norfolk."

It is hoped the new schools will be open by September 2026.