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Essex opens eight new autism support centres in record £85million investment

22 Mar Essex opens eight new autism support centres in record £85million investment

Essex County Council is opening eight of the centres across the county, with one primary school and one secondary school hosting them in each of Essex’s four quadrants.

While many pupils with autism already attend and succeed in their local mainstream schools, there are others with more complex needs, including high levels of anxiety, who require further specialist support.

The new centres aim to enable those young people to access mainstream schooling and spend most of their time in classes alongside their peers.

The hubs will provide outreach services and ensure pupils with autism who attend mainstream schools, particularly at secondary schools, receive enhanced support.

For pupils with more severe autism, additional places are being created as part of the council’s record £85 milllion investment in special schools in Essex.

Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said:

“We are committed to ensuring all pupils in Essex receive the best possible education.
“A growing number of children in the county are being diagnosed with autism and it is vital we have the specialist facilities and expertise in place to meet their needs, whether that is in a mainstream or special school.

“I am therefore delighted we are now officially opening a new network of autism support centres across Essex which will allow pupils to be educated alongside their peers in mainstream schools.

The eight new centres are being opened ahead of World Autism Awareness Week. World Autism Awareness Week takes place from March 27 until April 2 and aims to raise awareness of ASD.