A NEW sixth form is opening in Halton for young people on the autistic spectrum.

Ashley School in Green Lane, Widnes will welcome its first intake of students in September.

They will have their own purpose built building.

It includes a cybercafe, a working office administration room and a large vocational and mini business enterprise area.

Head teacher Linda King said: "We are really excited about the opening of our new sixth form which enables us to support and provide for our young people up to the age of 19.

"We want to ensure that they have a valuable contribution to make within the community in which they live."

Ashley School was named after the late Jack Ashley, the youngest Widnes councillor who went on to become a successful disability champion and then a member of the House of Lords.

He himself coped with a hearing disability.

The school was redesignated as a social communication and high functioning autism specific school to fill the gap for this often overlooked group of young people.

It has been extensively refurbished to meet accreditation standards in June, 2013.

Construction of the new sixth form started in January and took six months to complete.

Halton Clr Ged Philbin, board member for children, young people and families, said: "The new part of the school is a fantastic facility for young people in Halton.

"I am sure they will benefit from experience of sixth form life and prepare them even better for post-school life."

Pupils helped to move books and new equipment into the building before they broke up for the summer.