We want to engage with prospective parents, relevant organisations and individuals to help shape plans.  If you have specific questions, comments or queries please let us know.  Here are some answers to questions recently asked:

Question: When will The Cavendish School open for students?

Answer: The application to the Department for Education was submitted on 28 September 2016. The assessment process was lengthy and received approval to move to the pre-opening stage in Spring 2017. There are significant site and planning issues, and the Education Funding and Skills Agency have in place some time-consuming hurdles to overcome. We have been forced to revise our original ambition to open the school in September 2018 and can confirm that the opening date for the school is September 2021. As we progress we will keep you updated through our newsletter and website.

Question: What age children will be able to attend the school?

Answer: Once The Cavendish School is established it will welcome young people from age 7 to age 19 (school Year 3 to Year 13). In the first year of opening, students will only be admitted for Years 3 to 7 and in Year 12. In each subsequent year, we will admit ‘upwards’ (thus the Year 7s from 2021 become the Year 8s of 2022 and so on) to develop and grow the culture of and provision in the school successfully. If you have a child with autism (and who has an EHCP for this condition) and who may be interested in attending then please let us know.

Question:  What level of individual need does the school plan to accept as the autistic spectrum is very broad?

Answer:  There is no black and white answer to this question as each young person is an individual with a unique set of needs, strengths and interests. When a parent expresses interest we would start an investigatory process to learn about their child. The aim is to establish whether The Cavendish School would be right for each individual, and whether the school can meet their needs within the cohort of students.  Each student who attends The Cavendish School will have a bespoke programme of learning that is tailored to their own needs and interests. On offer will be an eclectic range of therapies and learning opportunities designed to support and challenge them as an individual.

Question:  Will the school cater for girls as well as boys?

Answer:  The Cavendish School will cater for both girls and boys whose primary need is autism.  The presentation of autism in girls can be very different from boys. Many of the diagnostic systems and stereotypes of autism are based on males, so there are likely to be many girls with autism in schools whose needs are not identified or understood. Our challenge is to develop a programme which responds to gender-related ASC differences.  Sharonne Horlock, who sits on the National ASC and Girls Forum, is drawing on the latest research and thinking to inform plans.