Reading Free School bid | Ambitious about Autism
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Reading Free School bid 

Reading Free School bid

Did you know over the last three years in Reading, the number of pupils with a primary diagnosis of autism has increased by nearly 11% each year? This means more pupils are having to be educated outside the borough. To meet this growth, the local authority in Reading have proposed opening another special school. 

The competition to open a special school in the Reading area is a fantastic opportunity to educate more children and young people closer to home; without the commute having a impact on their learning. It will also mean more opportunities to engage with the local community and the chance to build relationships and connections.

The local authority in Reading is proposing a school for up to 150 pupils aged 5-19 from the Reading, West Berkshire and the Wokingham area. Under the proposal, the new school will support pupils with autism and complex needs including social, emotional and mental health (SEMH). 

Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust develop schools that are inspirational and transformational, with a broad, balanced and challenging curriculum in an environment of high expectations and close individual focus. We are committed to providing an educational environment that will support the specific needs of these children and young people. Our educational philosophy, the Ambitious Approach, is underpinned by a School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support framework. With that as our guiding principle, we pursue two goals of equal importance for our pupils:

  • excellence in academic and social progress
  • an improved quality of life.

The Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust currently works with local authorities and local groups who share our commitment to developing high-quality, evidence based schools for children and young people with autism. 

Get in touch

Or if you’d like to find out more about our proposed curriculum and vision for the school please email Natasha Hawley at

Next steps

Our online survey and engagement drop-in are now closed and we will be providing updates on this webpage regarding our proposal in due course. 

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