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Friday 11 February 2022

Autistic young people help choose the name of our new school

Ambitious about Autism’s new special free school in Chessington, Kingston will be called Spring School.
The name was chosen with help from autistic young people and the local community in Kingston and Richmond, with over 650 people taking part in our consultation. 
Spring School will support up to 90 autistic pupils aged four to 19, and will be situated on the site of the Moor Lane Centre in Chessington. It is in its pre-opening phase with design and planning currently taking place.

Ambitious about Autism worked with community champions in Kingston and Richmond to create a shortlist of three names that were put to the public. All three had connections to Chessington’s local surrounds, its nature and history.  The consultation was promoted in local libraries, shops and newsletters and hundreds of residents, including local councillors and pupils, had their say.
Viv Berkeley, Director of Education at Ambitious about Autism, said:

“Spring represents new beginnings and a nurturing period of growth. This resonates with our model of education practice, the Ambitious Approach, which prepares children and young people for a happy and fulfilling life. We’re delighted that so many local residents and pupils, including autistic young people, shared their views and helped us choose our new school name. Spring School will provide wonderful new opportunities for autistic pupils and will be at the heart of the local community.”

 Here are some views from autistic young people and local residents on the new name:

“It sounds positive and bright not too serious. I feel parents of autistic children already have such a serious world with big words, this brings light and ease.”

“I love the connection that spring has to new beginnings, new opportunities and new life being nurtured. I feel this fits well with what the school represents.”

“My daughter is autistic and when I read the names out, she said she like the name Spring School, as she likes Spring time.”

Working in partnership with young people, parents and carers, local schools and colleges and the wider community, Spring School will create opportunities for autistic young people to develop the academic, vocational and social skills to enable them to make a successful transition to adulthood.
If you’d like to keep up to date with the new school development you can register for the e-newsletter. If you’re interested in joining our group of Kingston and Richmond Community Champions, e-mail Natasha Hawley at