A CAMPAINING mum who has battled for years in support of Lincolnshire children with special needs is setting up her own school.
The Therese Lord Independent School will start its life at Mrs Lord's home in Waddington with just four pupils.
It will specialise in provision for children with high functioning neurodevelopmental difficulties including the autism spectrum, Asperger's Syndrome, dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and others.
She said: "When I had my children I knew nothing about autism and when they were having difficulties I realised the teachers seemed to know very little and as life unfolded I realised there was a huge gap in knowledge.
"I was always keen to become a teacher and that's when I went from banking to teaching."
While doing her training Mrs Lord took part in numerous courses specialising in autism and other learning difficulties.
And she has been the driver behind the Lincolnshire Parent Carer Partnership, a support group which now has thousands of members.
Through this she has also been appointed as a taskforce member of the National Network of Parent Carer Forums, a Government commissioned group.
"In the beginning I was running a support group and I met a number of parents who were in the same situation with children struggling through school. All these experiences have made me want to do this," said Mrs Lord.
Mrs Lord has converted her home for the first set of students, who it is hoped will be referred by Lincolnshire County Council's children's services.
But the free schools initiative announced by the ConLib coalition government is something she will also consider.
The school will focus on small class sizes and the curriculum, which includes five GCSEs, has been written by Mrs Lord.
Mrs Lord said: "Children with these difficulties can learn, they just need to learn differently."
To this end the school, which will eventually be housed in a larger building in the Lincoln area, will have space, quiet, lessons tailored to each child's needs and therapy and exercise sessions.
All aspects of learning will be covered including sex and relationships, business and after school clubs.
Mrs Lord has also rented a room at Bishop Grossesteste University College in Lincoln so children can take part in practical science lessons.
Thirteen people have registered their interest in the school already.
Lincolnshire County Council will be integral in whether children will be referred to the school. It is unknown whether the council supports the school.
Councillor Patricia Bradwell, executive councillor for children's Services, said: "Lincolnshire County Council supports choice and diversity within the school sector. However, we can't comment further on this plan for a new school until we have seen the full proposals."
To find out more and to register your interest, call Mrs Lord on 01522 722303 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org