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(UK) Teeside: New $1.7M autism school expects 30 students by Christmas

Sept 1, 2022, Gazette Live: Old prisoner of war camp set to open its doors as new school for autistic children

N. England

A new Teesside school is set to welcome its first pupils shortly after work has been completed to transform a building that was once an old prisoner of war camp. Kiora Hall has been given a new lease of life in a partnership between Stockton Council and the North East Autism Society that has seen the building, on Ragworth Lane, Norton undergo a £1.5m [$1.7M] refit. It is now set to open as a school for autistic and neurodiverse children, starting with 18 pupils with the expectation that numbers will rise to 21 by half term and 30 by Christmas. … It had fallen into disrepair before refurbishment work to turn it into a school began in May 2021. A 35-strong team of staff is now in place which includes six teachers, 25 teaching assistants and support staff and it will include 12 classrooms, computer rooms, a new kitchen and bathrooms as well as a sports hall, changing rooms and showers. Principal Nigel Rumfitt said: "I was hugely impressed by the North East Autism Society and its personalised, tailored approach to meeting the needs of learners who are autistic or have other neurodiverse conditions. It’s a fantastic opportunity to make a difference, we’ve assembled a strong team, and we can’t wait to welcome our first students.”…

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