Our charity is negotiating with The Aurora Group to transfer The National Autistic Society's Anderson School to its ownership and management, in time for the autumn term.
The Bristol-based school opened in 2013 to provide education to local children on the autism spectrum who have good academic potential and complex needs. It also provides some residential places in a children’s home attached to the school. Our priority is the welfare and support of the 10 students currently in our care and we are working closely with Aurora, parents and staff to make the transfer as seamless as possible.
The school’s Principal, Kim McConnell, and our charity, have a clear vision for how the school can develop. However, as a charity, we do not have the level of resources required to sustain the school and, importantly, to make the investments needed to realise that vision. It would not be fair to go forward without addressing this.
The Aurora Group have a strong track record of working with children on the autism spectrum and those with special educational needs. They are well placed to invest in the school so it continues to grow and provide high quality education.
They are keen to maintain continuity and will keep the current team and autism practice in place, so we are confident there will be minimal disruption to students.
We told parents and staff about these plans at the earliest opportunity and they are involved in the transfer process, including meeting the senior team from Aurora.
Kim McConnell, Principal of the Anderson School, said, “We are very proud of all we’ve helped our students to achieve.
The school’s small size has brought many advantages, but it has proved difficult to sustain the school without further investment and expansion.
"The Aurora Group have the resources to develop the school in a way that The National Autistic Society, as a charity cannot.
We believe that Aurora are well placed to take the school forward. They have an excellent track record and resources which will help the school continue to grow and to prepare local children and young people on the autism spectrum for adulthood.
"We are now working closely with Aurora, parents, staff and local authorities to make the transfer as seamless as possible.”