Founders of free school for autistic pupils 'delighted' over DfE approval

Founders of free school for autistic pupils 'delighted' over DfE approval

Simon Meechan

A free school for autistic children has been given the go-ahead by the Department for Education (DfE).

Forest Bridge School will cater for pupils aged between four and 16 who have autism spectrum disorders.

In May its founders sent in an application to open a free school.

On Tuesday, the Department for Education announced Forest Bridge is one of 35 new schools approved by the government.

Forest Bridge says it aims to have small classes with a high ratio of teachers to pupils.

No site has been found yet.

Co-founder Jane Balmer, whose son has autism, said she is 'delighted' that the project has been approved

She added: "At this stage we don't have confirmation about site but we will be meeting with the Education Funding Agency in the coming weeks to discuss this amongst other things."

According to the school's website there are 300 autistic youngsters in the Royal Borough. So far 90 families have registered interest in their children enrolling.

A spokesman said the school is 'on track' to open in September 2015.

They added: "Forest Bridge School will provide an appropriate physical environment for children with autism, as well as a high quality teaching provision and ready access to supporting speech and language, behavioural, psychological and occupational therapy."

Forest Bridge will hold a public meeting on Thursday, at Windsor Youth and Community Centre in Alma Road.

It will be a chance to find out more about the school and ask the founders questions.

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