The National Autistic Society’s Vanguard School is set to launch academic year 2019/20 to students on the autism spectrum in Lambeth and neighbouring Greater London.

The NAS Academies Trust was established in 2012 as a subsidiary of The National Autistic Society. Its purpose is to open and run our charity’s autism-specific free schools and academies. The Vanguard School will be the third free school to be opened by NAS Academies Trust.

Meeting local need

A need for improved special education needs provision in the borough was identified and the call for a new specialist school to meet this need was spearheaded by local parents. The Vanguard School will help reduce out of borough and independent placements, which will reduce education costs for the Lambeth authority. This has the added benefit that children who attend the school will be educated and build connections in their local community.


The Vanguard School will cater for students on the autism spectrum aged 11 to 19 who require an education that is tailored to their individual needs. This will be an outward facing school, with inclusion and community engagement at its core.

Specialist education

As with all The National Autistic Society’s schools, the syllabus at the Vanguard School will be informed by our charity’s MyProgress® methodology. We’ve developed this over 50 years, using our experience of and research into best practice teaching young autistic people. The school will work in partnership with our other eight schools and the wider organisation, to strengthen and develop expertise and innovative thinking. As well as using MyProgress®, we’ll take opportunities to pilot new and innovative interventions to facilitate students’ development of social understanding, resilience and independence.

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Learn more about free schools

More about the Vanguard School