School celebrates 30 years of achievement

IT started out 30 years ago with just one pupil...now the National Autistic School in South Yorkshire is the biggest specialist school of its kind in the country with an international reputation.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 2nd August 2007, 8:54 am
Updated Friday, 3rd August 2007, 11:39 am

And the school, created in the former Thurnscoe Comprehensive building, near Barnsley, has celebrated the 30th anniversary.

The Robert Ogden School started life in a much smaller setting 30 years ago, accommodating initially just one child at Storm House School, near Wath. Originally set up by a small group of South Yorkshire parents whose children had been diagnosed with autism, it later became part of the National Autistic Society.

The number of pupils increased and the society started looking for bigger premises and in 1999 that millionaire philanthropist, Robert Ogden bought the Thurnscoe school building and gave it to the society.

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It now offers specialist provision for 125 children and is the largest school for children with autism in the UK.

Principal Gillian Roberts said: “Congratulations and thanks to everyone who has helped to make The Robert Ogden School into the excellent service that is now celebrating its 30th anniversary.

“This includes children, staff, parents, carers, and also the community who have contributed so much support and funds.

“We pride ourselves on working closely with families to help children achieve their full potential. Our celebratory event was an enjoyable occasion for all of us.”