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(UK) London: New autism school; 104 students/60staff

May 27, 2022, My London: New school for children with autism will open in Kingston next year to target 'shortage' of places https://www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/new-school-children-autism-open-24083696

London A new school for children with autism will be built in Kingston in a move praised for addressing a “shortage” of specialist school places in the borough. The school will be run by charity Ambitious about Autism for up to 104 students from primary school age to sixth form.

Kingston Council’s planning committee unanimously approved the proposal last night (May 26). The council had already leased part of the Moor Lane Centre site in Chessington to the Department of Education (DfE) to build the school, but was awaiting planning permission for the full go-ahead. The school will employ 60 full-time staff members. Councillors focussed on the school’s ability to meet the “shortage” of school places for children with special educational needs in Kingston. Lib Dem councillor Amir Ali Khan asked: “So the school will be meeting the needs of 100 plus children - how far does that go in addressing the shortage or lack of spaces for that group of children?”…

Lib Dem councillor Liz Green said: “We have a lot of children and young people with autistic needs that are, I do know this, mostly educated out of borough because we have no specific autistic school although we do have provision within other mainstream schools in the borough for autism.”

She added: “It would be a significant help to those 104 pupils because while there is also the public purse and the cost of sending children out, it’s also about friendship groups for those children and being educated and not sitting... on minibuses for hours on end to head to somewhere in the middle of Surrey or into London or wherever.”…

The new Kingston school will have capacity for up to 104 pupils

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