A new school in Chessington for autistic children will be run by a specialist autism charity after a Department of Education (DoE) announcement, it was revealed Monday (July 20).

Kingston Council (RBK) who worked with the DoE on sourcing an education provider for the planned special school in the borough, said they were "delighted" by the announcement Monday.

They revealed that autism charity Ambitious about Autism was chosen to run the school after a "rigorous and competitive application and interview process".

"The free school for children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is expected to open in 2022 or 2023 at the Moor Lane Centre site in Chessington, subject to the Council making a formal decision to lease part of the site for that purpose, and will eventually accommodate up to 90 pupils aged four to 19," RBK said.

Councillor Diane White, portfolio holder for children’s services at RBK, described the announcement as "exciting news!"

"I know from the Achieving for Children officers who took part in the DfE’s selection and interview process that they were very impressed by Ambitious About Autism’s plans and desire to make this school a truly exceptional beacon of excellence within our borough," she added.

Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism Schools Trusts, said the charity were also delighted with the news they would be running the school on its opening.

"We’re really looking forward to working together with local commissioners, young people, parents and carers and the whole community to create a wonderful new learning environment where autistic young people can reach their academic potential, strive for independence and lead rich and fulfilling lives," she said.

"Our mission is to make the ordinary possible for more children and young people with autism," Lasota added.

Around 1.1 per cent of people in the UK are thought to be on the ASD autism "spectrum", or around 695,000 people.