New special school for Kingston

The Department for Education (DfE) has approved Kingston Council’s application for a new free school for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in the borough

The school, which is due to open in September 2022, will provide 90 places for children and young people aged five to 19 who have Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The number of children with ASD has risen significantly over recent years, and the new school will help to reduce the number of children with ASD having to travel to schools outside of the borough.

The application for the new school was submitted in October 2018 by Achieving for Children (AfC), who provide children’s services in Kingston. AfC will hold a competition in spring 2019 to secure a high-quality education provider to run the school, with a view to the successful bidder being announced later this year.

Subject to approval at committee later in the year, the new school is proposed to be located on the Moor Lane Centre site in Chessington. Moor Lane currently hosts some services for children with disabilities, but it is not clear at this stage which, if 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.

Cllr 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.”