Kingston Council welcomes announcement of provider for new special school

Kingston Council is delighted by the announcement by the Department for Education (DfE), today, that the education provider Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust will run the borough’s new special school

Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust was chosen following a rigorous and competitive application and interview process. Currently, they run one highly-regarded special free school, The Rise School in Hounslow,  plus a non-maintained special school and a specialist post-16 college, all meeting the needs of children and/or young people with ASD.

The free school for children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is expected to open in 2022 or 2023 at the Moor Lane Centre site in Chessington, subject to the Council making a formal decision to lease part of the site for that purpose, and will eventually accommodate up to 90 pupils aged four to 19.


Cllr Diane White, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services including Education, said:

“This is exciting news! I know from the Achieving for Children officers who took part in the DfE’s selection and interview process that they were very impressed by Ambitious About Autism’s plans and desire to make this school a truly exceptional beacon of excellence within our borough.

“As it will be Autism-specific, the school will fill a major gap in our local provision and will help to ensure that as many of our local children and young people as possible can be educated within the borough and within their home community.

“I am sure that Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust will be warmly welcomed into our local family of schools and they can count on the Council and Achieving for Children to do all we can to assist them in making the school an outstanding success.”


Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism Schools Trusts, said: 

“Our mission is to make the ordinary possible for more children and young people with autism. To do this we develop and run innovative and high-quality specialist education provision that enables autistic pupils to learn, thrive and achieve their potential in adulthood.  

“We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the partner for the development of the Kingston special free school and we’re really looking forward to working together with local commissioners, young people, parents and carers and the whole community to create a wonderful new learning environment where autistic young people can reach their academic potential, strive for independence and lead rich and fulfilling lives.” 

Notes for editors:

Achieving for Children, the Council’s children’s services provider, made an application to the

DfE in October 2018 for a special free school to be opened in the borough, and the DfE

announced that it was successful in March 2019. The DfE’s financial arm, the Education and

Skills Funding Agency, will pay for the capital costs of building the new school.

Ambitious about Autism is the national charity for children and young people with autism. We provide services, raise awareness and understanding, and campaign for change. Through TreeHouse School, The Rise School and Ambitious College, we offer specialist education and support. Our ambition is to make the ordinary possible for more children and young people with autism. 

The Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust is a Multi-Academy Trust. It shares Ambitious about Autism’s vision and mission. Through the Trust, we develop more schools to reach the children and young people with autism who need our specialist support.