Eagerly awaited new school for autistic 5-18 year olds opens in Tower Hamlets, East London

Brick Lane School, Tower Hamlets – a beautifully refurbished new provision, designed to meet the needs of young people aged 5 -18 with a primary diagnosis of autism – recently opened its doors to welcome the first cohort of excited students and staff.

Situated on Bacon Street in the heart of the Brick Lane community, the school is the first inner London provision to be opened by Options Autism, an award-winning organisation that operates a nationwide network of schools for autistic young people, associated complex needs and behaviours that challenge.

A soft seating area inside the new schoolThe eagerly awaited new facility - located on the site formerly occupied by St Matthias Primary School - features nine spacious classrooms including an early years section, dedicated science, ICT, art and food tech teaching rooms and a library. Also included is a newly fitted school kitchen for the provision of breakfast and lunch in the catering hall, three play spaces, a sports centre and communal areas, staff room, reception and school offices. The refurbishment has been carefully engineered to create an environment suited to meet the needs of all the Year 1 to Year 13 pupils.

The school with capacity for 76 pupils, takes referrals from Tower Hamlets and the surrounding local authorities of Camden, City of London, Hackney, Islington, Southwark and Westminster - all within a 30-minute school run. Transport links are good with Shoreditch High Street overground station and numerous bus routes a short five-minute walk from the school.

Adam De Vecchi - headteacher at Brick Lane SchoolAdam De Vecchi, the inspirational new headteacher at Brick Lane, has over 12 years’ experience working with children and young people with autism and learning needs. He explained the school’s vision, “Brick Lane School aims to build positive futures for all our young people by providing a unique, safe and secure environment that best meets the needs of children with an autism spectrum condition (ASC) diagnosis residing in the local area.

“With a 4:1 pupil/staff ratio in each class of up to 8 pupils - the teachers and their teaching assistants can be far more creative and flexible in their approaches to learning and teaching than is possible in most mainstream schools. Our broad and balanced curriculum will be tailored to meet the needs, abilities, interests and future aspirations of each pupil.
“The in-house multi-disciplinary team comprising a clinical psychologist, speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, plus other therapeutic staff will provide further support for our pupils.
“Here at Brick Lane School, we know that by providing the right environment, coupled with the experience, knowledge and understanding of our high skilled staff, we can significantly help to reduce and overcome the challenges and barriers to learning, that many autistic children and young people face.

"Our aim is to give every pupil a fresh start, protect them from discrimination or exclusion, and with our relational and restorative approach to learning, help create positive futures for them in further education, training and/or employment.”

If you are interested in finding out more about Brick Lane School, please visit www.bricklaneschool.co.uk , email referrals@optionsautism.co.uk or call 020 7186 0156.