Disability group to provide services in school buyout

The Disabilities Trust has made its first foray into providing services for children by taking over a school for autistic children in Berkshire this month.

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has sold Heathermount School to the Disabilities Trust for £1.8 million. The local education authority had been struggling to meet the range of educational needs required and the trust plans to inject additional resources into the school. It is committed to carrying out £400,000 of repairs, raising the number of pupils from 36 to 62, and introducing services such as family outreach and a nursery.

However, the trust emphasises that it will not subsidise state services with charitable funds and those local education authorities that fund the pupils have been informed that fees will increase.

A spokesman for the trust said the charity plans to develop its expertise in providing services for young people and may consider similar acquisitions in the future.

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