Whitefield Academy Trust has set out its proposals for a new school to serve children and young people on the autistic spectrum across London.
The new school is particularly designed to ease a current shortage of places in North East London, which can make it difficult for parents to find a special school that matches their child’s specific needs.
Whitefield, which already runs two very successful special schools in Waltham Forest will be presenting its plans to the Secretary of State for Education in late September. For the plans to be accepted, Whitefield must be able to demonstrate demand from parents and carers, so it is asking parents to show interest via a form on the Whitefield website at www.whitefield.org/newschool. There will also be a public meeting to discuss development of the school early in September.
“There’s no doubt that there is a shortage of places for children and young people with autism” says Elaine Colquhoun, Chief Executive of the Trust “the unfortunate truth is that we receive referrals for substantially many more pupils than we can currently take and some families are disappointed. We aim to put an end to that by providing new places at a new site – but we need help from parents willing to sign up on our website to show their interest”
Whitefield Schools currently has a waiting list about 100 places. The majority of the pupils hoping for a place have a primary need of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)
If the plan is successful, the new school will open in September 2018, with approximately 36 students, growing over four years to cater for around 150 pupils. It’s location has yet to be decided, but the trust is looking for a somewhere close to the existing Whitefield Schools site in Walthamstow, to allow it to prioritise children and young people in the area, and support cross-school links.
You can find out more information about the proposal on the new school's information page which includes a link to the form where parents can express interest.