Mum sets up autism school

PUBLISHED: 16:30 05 May 2010 | UPDATED: 15:39 16 August 2010

A SCHOOL for children with autism single-handedly set up by a mother has found a principal.

A SCHOOL for children with autism single-handedly set up by a mother has found a principal.

The school, on the five-acre site of the former Baston House school in Hayes, will open in September under the helm of new head Steve Vincent.

Mum-of-two Anna Kennedy, who has previously set up the Hillingdon Manor School in Middlesex for autistic children, has been assessing interest in the area for places at the centre.

Ms Kennedy, who remortgaged her home to set up Hillcrest Autism Services, said: "We have had so much interest. In the last couple of weeks I have heard from 30 parents from the Bromley area.

"Now we have a great headteacher who has worked at the National Autistic Society we can put together our prospectus for September.

"It is really exciting but it is also a big, big job."

The school is being registered with the Department of Education and Skills (DfES) to take 60 new pupils with autism, Aspergers Syndrome and other special needs.

If the first year goes successfully, Ms Kennedy hopes to be able to take 130 pupils aged from three to 19, making it the biggest centre for autism in the country.

Ms Kennedy set up Hillingdon Manor School after she failed to find adequate provisions for her two sons Patrick and Angelo.

Like Hillingdon, the centre, at Baston House, will be independently run by Anna Kennedy and her team with funding from the Local Authority.

Ms. Kennedy said: "We hope to work together with Bromley council and groups like the Bromley Autism Trust.

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