Apologies if someone has already posted about this...
There are moves afoot to create two new schools for children with autism.
1) HACS Free School - a secondary school for higher functioning children with ASD
2) Eden Academy Free school - for children with SLD/MLD and ASD aged from 4-19
I don't know much about the latter, but there is a meeting next Tuesday evening about HACS free school. More details here or on their facebook page (search for HACS free school). The intention is that if the applications succeed both schools will open in September 2014.
Apparently, the applications have the support of 7/9 London boroughs (and the other two are still to be met with).
You can also fill in a very short questionnaire (available on the HACS website) which will keep a record of children who may need places further down the line. They said that they are future planning to see how many children may need places at different points in the future, so even if secondary school is a way off (my DS1 is 5), then its worth filling it in.
I am a bit about NAS schools , after speaking to someone I know who went to tribunal about school placement and ended up with her child in one. She said that the school wouldn't let her have a proper tour and see inside any of the classrooms. They were reluctant even to let her see the playground. HER DS is severe ASD, non verbal and she is having problems with them feeding him dairy as he is intolerant, and also him eating things he shouldn't as she can see strange things ( from the classroom) being excreted. I would hope that a HF school would not have quite the same problems, but if the management is similar I have my doubts.
As far as I know, the NAS are not involved. It's purely a HACS initiative.
Hillingdon manor was originally set up for HFA children (the person who set it up had boys with HFA who had nowhere to go). However, over time it has changed and now has a whole mix of abilities and children with behavioural problems as well. HACS said at the meeting last week that they specifically didn't want to go down that route as they felt that mixing abilities up didn't work. In any event, I'm not sure that they would have the capacity to deal with the number of children who would need places in the future.