In what is great news for Kingston’s SEND children and their parents, the Department for Education (DfE) has approved Lib Dem run Kingston Council’s application for a new free school.
The new school will provide 90 places for children and young people aged 5 to 19 who have Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD), and it is hoped will open in September 2022.
The application for the new school was submitted in October 2018 by Achieving for Children (AfC), who provide children’s services in Kingston. The next step will be to secure a high-quality education provider to run the school.
Subject to approval at Committee later in the year, the plan is for the new school to be located at the Moor Lane Centre site in Chessington.
Moor Lane currently provides some services for children with disabilities. At this stage, it is not clear whether any of these services will need to be relocated. Where services do need to be delivered from alternative locations, Achieving for Children and the Council will work with families to ensure a smooth transition.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Diane White, Portfolio Holder for Children's Services including Education at Kingston Council, said: “This is fantastic news for the Borough, particularly for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, as it means we can be sure that we are offering the very best quality education and care, closer to home.
I look forward to seeing these exciting plans progress as we provide much-needed places for children and young people with ASD-specific needs. I also want to reassure families who currently use the Moor Lane Centre that where services need to move, we will work with them to find suitable, accessible new venues.”