NAS Vanguard School – Projects

NAS Vanguard School

Client: National Autistic Society Academies Trust
Sector: Education
Size: 78 places / secondary and sixth form entry
Value: £8 million
Location: Lambeth, London
Status: Complete
Internal Team: Catherine Mulley

This new free school provides specialist education for children and young people aged between 11 and 19 with autism and associated learning disabilities. Alongside the teaching facilities there are therapy suites and individual learning rooms. A hall with adjacent kitchen and breakout areas is shared for use with the local community.

The school sits on a tight urban site, bordered by a busy main road, a public park and high-rise residential developments. To overcome these challenging conditions, a two-storey, rectangular building was designed with external play areas located towards the public park and a first-floor terrace area for the use of sixth form pupils.

Other design considerations have included the need to cater for a changing pupil population and to provide a calming environment that can help to minimise anxiety and overstimulation.

The scheme received highly commended status in the Education Estates Award 2020 'Inclusive Learning Spaces for All' category.

It's wonderful to see the school open and the students doing so well. It's a fantastic site, designed and built by Pozzoni and Galliford Try specifically for our students. It will allow us to give generations of autistic children and young people a far better start in life.

Thank you to the many people and organisations who have worked so hard to make our school a reality - especially the school’s leadership team, colleagues within the wider charity and Academies Trust, Lambeth County Council, Department for Education, Pozzoni and Galliford Try, and Fleur Bothwick who has been the backbone of this project.

Matthew Tiplin - National Autistic Society