Congratulations to everyone at our Sybil Elgar and Church Lawton schools for achieving fantastic Ofsted results in the past few weeks. 

Our Sybil Elgar School in London was recognised as outstanding and Church Lawton School in East Cheshire as good, with outstanding features. This was Church Lawton School’s first ever Ofsted inspection (it only opened in 2015) and means that our schools* in England are now either good or outstanding.

Our charity has been providing specialist education to children and young people on the autism spectrum for over 50 years and currently runs eight schools, with the most recent, our Anderson School, opening last September. We also recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of our Sybil Elgar School, which was the first autism-specific school in the UK. 

Sybil Elgar School’s Ofsted report highlighted the quality of teaching, which it describes as excellent: “Teachers skilfully balance care, patience and nurture with uncompromisingly high expectations of pupils’ learning and personal development.” The report notes that, “parents are overwhelmingly positive about the work of the school”, citing comments including, “I just can’t believe the difference in my child” and: “if you could only see where they were and where they are now.”

Ofsted’s report into Church Lawton School said: “The principal, governors and trust have, in a short space of time, created an inclusive and caring ethos. The principal and staff are passionate about making a difference to the lives of pupils.”

The report also quoted a parent, who commented: “My child is extremely happy at the school. I think the teachers genuinely care about the development of every single child in the school. My child has progressed very well. I cannot praise the school enough.”

More than 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum, including an estimated 140,000 school-aged children in the UK. This means that someone sees, hears and feels the world in a different, often more intense way. But it affects each child differently and can make school life very difficult. For instance, some children are so sensitive to light or sound that a bright overhead light or humming computer can be physically painful and make it almost impossible to follow a lesson. For others, a small change to the day’s schedule, like the school bus turning up late or a sudden change to the seating plan, can feel like the end of the world.

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society, said: “Everyone at our charity is thrilled for our Sybil Elgar and Church Lawton schools. This is a huge achievement and is testament to the hard work our school staff put in each and every day to make sure we offer the best education, opportunities and start in life. 

“A huge well done to the team, and to our students who continue to achieve so much.”  

To find out more about our schools visit our website or get in touch using our online form

View a recent film about our Radlett Lodge School also rated outstanding by Ofsted.


* Our Anderson School only opened in September 2017 and has yet to be inspected.