A new school for young people with autism has opened in Epping.

The Tower School in Epping High Street opened on April 21 following a positive Ofsted pre-registration inspection.

The school is located in the what was formerly the town’s historic 1920’s Blue Star car showroom.

Next to its Grade II listed water tower, the building has been redesigned and refurbished to meet the specific needs of young people with autism and has capacity to take up to 62 students.

The independent school, which provides education for young people aged 11-18 years who have autism and associated conditions, was visited by the education watchdog in March.

Inspectors reported The Tower School was ‘likely to meet all the independent school standards when it opens’.

The school is run by Acorn Care and Education, which is part of the Outcomes First Group, which has experience operating another 42 independent schools across the country.

The school will provide six lessons every day, with pupils receiving more than 25 hours of on-site education each week in 10 classrooms all of which are said to be “suitably resourced” to teach groups of up to seven pupils.

Head teacher Kerry Linden – who has more than 20 years’ experience in education – said: “When our learners first join the school our teachers undertake academic assessments and discrete Autism Progression Framework Assessments to identify learning priorities and measure progress in areas which fall outside the national curriculum, so they can fully understand each young person’s needs. Equipped with this and the information gathered from parents, carers, professionals and previous education provisions, we are able to create bespoke learning and wellbeing support plans for every learner to meet their needs and to support them on their personal journey.”

“We all know that not all learning takes place in the classroom,” she said, “and at The Tower School we will be taking full advantage of the enrichment opportunities presented by our local area such as work experience, community visits, forest school and the Duke of Edinburgh Award, to develop the self-esteem and confidence of our young people.”