New specialist school for children with autism opens

A new specialist £11million school for children with autism has been officially opened.

Funded by Enfield Council, Durants Upper School in Southgate will cater for up to 120 secondary age children with complex educational needs as well as offering places for 16-19 year olds. It opened its doors to its first intake of pupils in September.

Commenting on the official open which took place on 1 November, Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Children's Services, Cllr Rick Jewell, said: "This fantastic new state of the art school will significantly expand our specialist autism provision for secondary age pupils and address an acute need in this borough.

"We are committed to supporting the needs of all our young people and believe that this new school provides an opportunity to ensure that they have access to an outstanding learning environment at the most appropriate location for their needs so that they can reach their potential."

The site of the school was purchased from Barnet and Southgate College and extensively redeveloped to provide modern, flexible, fit for purpose education facilities.

One building was refurbished, re-modelled and extended to provide school accommodation, including a small extension. Another was reconfigured and refurbished to provide an art room and food technology facilities to help prepare pupils for living on their own.

An open sided workshop has been re-modelled to provide a fully equipped production kitchen with associated spaces, dining hall plus additional dining areas for small groups.

External play spaces has been developed specifically for the needs of autistic pupils. The spaces include an outdoor gym, individually contained trampolines, swings and large play equipment plus multiple seating areas.

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