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New SEND primary school opens in Twickenham

13 October 2021

Capella House, a free school for children with special educational needs and disabilities, has opened its brand new primary school centre in Twickenham thanks to Richmond Council. 

The school, which is run by the Auriga Academy Trust, offers 72 places for 4-16 year olds with speech, language and communication needs, across two sites. It opened to secondary children in September 2019 and has now opened to primary children at Amyand House in Twickenham. The primary school centre has capacity for 28 pupils. 

In 2018, Richmond Council was able to offer two sites in Twickenham, leasing Amyand House for the primary centre and part of the Richmond Education and Enterprise Campus, in Egerton Road, for the secondary centre. 

Following refurbishment, Amyand House now provides specialist facilities for up to 28 children. The children will also be able to benefit from inclusion opportunities at St Mary’s Church of England Primary, which is immediately adjacent to Amyand House. 

Cllr Penny Frost, Chair of the Council’s Education and Children’s Service Committee, said:  

'Demand for high-quality special school places continues to grow. It is therefore vital that we meet as much of that demand as we can within the borough, so that children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, can be educated in their local community rather than having to travel further afield. 

'I am delighted we were able to work with the Auriga Academy Trust, who already run two special schools in the borough, Clarendon School and Strathmore School, to lease suitable sites for the school. It is so wonderful to see the outstanding local school they are now able to provide for so many young people.'

Dominic Sunderland, Headteacher of Capella House, added: 

'It is great to have such a fantastic building that has been carefully designed and planned to enable us to deliver the specialist provision that our pupils deserve. It is already clear that having such an environment has enabled both staff and pupils to make a positive start to the school year.' 

Ivan Pryce, CEO of the Auriga Academy Trust, said: 

'I am delighted that the Auriga Academy Trust family of schools is able work closely with the Council and Achieving for Children to respond to the needs of the community and Capella Primary is the latest additional provision for children in Richmond who have special needs. Such a sensitive refurbishment brings back to life a building that has always focussed on caring within Twickenham and the wider locality and, as the latest occupants, we are thrilled to continue that heritage.'

Amyand House, Twickenham

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Up to: October 2021

Updated: 15 October 2021