AN INDEPENDENT specialist school is preparing to open in Staveley.

A pre-registration report from Ofsted reveals that a school run by Cairn Education will open at The Tavern, 63 Main Street, in the village.

Cairn Education is a non-profit community interest company that provides ‘individualised and innovative programmes to improve the lives of autistic individuals and/or individuals that have disengaged from mainstream education or employment’.

The school will provide education for pupils with autism spectrum disorder and intends to provide education for pupils with social, emotional and mental health issues.

The former pub now houses office and leisure spaces and the building has undergone refurbishment to make it ‘fit for purpose’ and comprises an upstairs classroom, kitchen and communal spaces, as well as office space on the ground floor.

According to the report the school will cater for children and young adults aged between 11 and 25, with a school capacity of six.

Inspectors said the school ‘is likely to meet all the independent school standards when it opens’.

Inspectors praised staff for the suitability of the space, staff checks, and safeguarding procedures.

The report said: “Leaders have considerable expertise in relation to the likely needs of the pupils they hope will attend the school.

“They demonstrate that they have the skills and knowledge to ensure that the standards are likely to be met consistently.

And on the subject of welfare, health and safety of pupils the report said: “The proprietor body has ensured that arrangements are in place to safeguard pupils.

“They have experience of safeguarding pupils in similar schools and understand their legal responsibilities extremely well.

“The headteacher and the head of therapy have the required training to safeguard pupils. They intend to provide suitable training and regular updates to staff.

“Leaders are clear about what action to take if they identify a safeguarding concern.”

The school will also focus on preparing Key stage 4 pupils for employment.

The report said: “Key stage 4 pupils will have the option of taking functional skills and GCSE qualifications in a range of subjects, including English and mathematics. Leaders are planning to provide post-16 students with an opportunity to complete their key stage 4 qualifications if required.

“Leaders intend to provide impartial careers guidance and support. This will prepare pupils for their move to further education or training when they leave the school.

“Leaders have carefully chosen the site of the proposed school for its link with many local businesses.”