Autism Berkshire’s CEO speaks out over extended closure of Wokingham school

Autism Berkshire’s chief executive officer, Jane Stanford-Beale, has told BBC TV’s South Today news programme that an extended closure of Wokingham’s Southfield School is having a serious impact on pupils and their parents.

A number of parents of pupils with autism have called Autism Berkshire’s helpline asking for advice on what to do while the school remains closed, almost a month after the end of the summer holidays.

Jane was interviewed by BBC Radio Berkshire and appeared in a TV news report that also featured parent Shelley Rudman, whose 12-year-old son Ollie has autism.

The school was criticised by Ofsted inspectors after they paid a visit earlier this year.

Their report said that the school was inadequate or required urgent improvements in four key areas.

Wokingham Borough Council said that older pupils were being educated as normal, while others were attending another school. It expects pupils will return to classes in phases during October.

Click here to read a BBC online news story about the school closure and the council’s plans to make changes.