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(UK) Darlington: Autism school planned; 48 students/100 staff; "greater recognition" of ASD

April 3, 2024, Darlington and Stockton Times: Specialist Garden Village school to be built in Darlington

NE England

A new specialist school is to be built in Darlington as part of a multi-million pound investment in learning for students who live with autism.

The state-of-the-art 48 place centre of learning will form part of the Garden Village development on the west side of Darlington and will be run by the Education Village Academy Trust (EVAT).

The Department for Education is currently appointing a lead officer to work with EVAT on the school, which will provide specialist learning for students aged 11 to 19 with autistic spectrum disorder.

About 100 staff, including a principal, a deputy, teachers, teaching assistants and therapists, will work in the new facility, off Newton Lane, which is expected to open its doors in around two years’ time.

DfE has committed to spend £105m [$133M] over the next four years by building 15 special needs schools to meet a growing demand for places following greater recognition of pupils’ learning difficulties, particularly around autism.

EVAT already operates two schools for children with additional needs – Beaumont Hill Academy and Marchbank Academy. It also runs Gurney Pease Academy, Springfield Academy and Haughton Academy.  . . .

 “This is a tremendously exciting opportunity which will allow us to prepare these young people for adulthood. It will be an aspirational learning environment that will maximise outcomes for the young people, ensuring they have the right skills to benefit themselves and the town.” . . . 


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