Free school story: The Rise School


Offering the best of both mainstream and special education, The Rise School in west London aims to transform the life chances of young people with autism.

Pupils at The Rise School are as academically able as other children of their age but their autism means that they need specialist support, which isn’t available in mainstream schools. This is a key reason why, currently, only around 15% of young people with autism leave school and go onto further education, employment or training.

The Rise School aims to turn this statistic on its head by offering a unique environment, which is a blend of both special and mainstream education.

Through being located on the same site as Feltham Community College, a mainstream secondary school, The Rise is able to offer its pupils all the advantages of a special school, including access to behaviour specialists and health professionals, whilst also making use of its partner’s facilities to provide a much broader curriculum and the chance to interact with a wide range of young people.

This means that pupils have the chance to both flourish academically and socially, helping them to make a successful transition into adult life.

This free school is the vision of a group of parents with autistic children, who worked with two autism charities - Dimensions and Ambitious about Autism – to bring it to life.

NSN followed The Rise School as it got ready to open its doors for the first time in September 2014. This is their story: