Skip to main content

A new ASD school for 200 pupils

Hopescourt School

The project is part of Surrey County Council’s (SCC) Capital Programme, which Pick Everard has been involved in its delivery. One of the SCC objectives from the programme is to ensure children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Additional Learning Needs (ALN) who require a specialist school placement can have their education needs met close to home and within state-maintained provision wherever possible.

Hopescourt will provide a specialist curriculum for autistic children with opportunities to achieve healthy, independent and fulfilling lives, helping Surrey County Council to achieve its ambition of keeping children rooted in their local communities, ensuring that no child in Surrey is left behind.

Denise Turner Stewart

Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning

For Hopescourt School project, Pick Everard initially explored the suitability of Grove Farm site for either a 160 place COIN school, or a 200 place ASD school. This assessment identified several significant risks and constraints, which led SCC to chose Thamesfield South as an alternative site for the school project.

Working closely with the school’s Trust, and with reference to BB104 guidance, the design team assisted the client in finalising a brief for a 200 pupils ASD school, and developed RIBA 2 concept design, which formed part of the tendered Employer’s Requirement for a D&B contract procurement. The design has also been developed to seek Net Zero Carbon in operation, as defined set out by LETI (The London Energy Transformation Initiative).

Following the contractor’s appointment, we have been resuming our appointment as technical advisors to SCC throughout RIBA 3-6.

The team developed the design within a number of site specific and planning challenges. Some of which are the presence of an oil pipe crossing the whole length of the site, close proximity to farmland and horse grazing grounds, falling within Green Belt, and existing swale within the site boundaries.

Leveraging our extensive experience in executing school and various other projects within comparable site constraints, we swiftly identified all the potential issues related to the site. Initially, we brought these issues to the attention of the wider team as project risks and compiled a list of necessary surveys to furnish more detailed site information. Consequently, we engaged in collaborative efforts with engineers and specialist consultants, including planners and ecologists, to mitigate each risk item. This allowed us to refine our concept designs, taking into consideration both site risks and client aspirations, achieving a balanced and informed development approach.

Key info


Surrey County Council


In progress




Health and safety services





All projects