• A new world-leading centre of excellence school for young people with autism has been approved by Epping Forest District Council
• The school will be delivered in partnership with the Anderson Foundation and the National Autistic Society and will be based on the site of our former Training Centre, Spurs Lodge
• The school will provide specialist education for up to 128 pupils aged between 4 and 25
The Club is delighted to announce that an application led by the Anderson Foundation to deliver a state of the art school for young people with autism, aged 4 to 25, and a world-leading diagnostic centre, in partnership with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and the National Autistic Society, has been approved by Epping Forest District Council.
The Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) School, designed to provide specialist education for up to 128 pupils, and includes a mixed-use games area, playing fields and a kitchen garden, will be delivered on the site of the Club’s former Spurs Lodge training centre in Chigwell Essex, and will cater for young people with ASD from across the Essex region.
Mark Anderson, founder of the Anderson Foundation, said: "I am delighted that after over five years of supporting and working alongside the National Autistic Society, we will finally be able to realise our shared vision of creating a world leading centre for the advancement of education for people diagnosed with Autism.”
It will be the first purpose built facility specifically designed to provide the best possible learning environment for people diagnosed with Autism in the world. The new school is due to open in September 2016 and will be managed and operated by the National Autistic Society, the leading charity in this specialist area of education.
Mark Lever, the CEO of the National Autistic Society, said: “This new school will deliver major benefits for people with Autism in the region, as it will fundamentally change the lives of young people with Autism, their families and carers for the better, allowing them to live more independent and fulfilling lives as well as delivering major benefits for the wider community.”
Alongside the specialist teachers and teaching facilities, which will be available at the school, an Autism Diagnostic Centre on the site will be created providing outreach provision to allow the wider community to benefit from the specialist support services that the school will provide.
As part of the approved application, 60 new homes will be built as enabling development, with the proceeds being used to pay for the delivery of the school and its facilities.
Daniel Levy, Chairman, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, said: “We are delighted to have formed a partnership with the Anderson Foundation and that a suitable use has been found for Spurs Lodge given its considerable planning constraints. This fantastic scheme will ensure that the long term interests of the community are served through the delivery of a high quality school for young people with Autism while enabling us to maintain an interest in a site that has played such an important and momentous role in the recent history of our Club.”