BeyondAutism announces Professor David Croisdale-Appleby OBE as new Chair of Trustees


BeyondAutism has today announced the appointment of Professor David Croisdale-Appleby OBE as the new chair of its Board of Trustees from 28th April 2022.

David is a leading figure in health and social care policy both nationally and internationally, who has devoted his career to social justice, representing the interests of vulnerable, disadvantaged and disabled people across the world. His work currently focuses on how best to redress the physical and mental health deficits in our population and reduce the growing health inequalities amongst sections of society.

David will bring extensive experience and expertise to the role having led many public sector organisations in medicine, health and social care, social work, forensic science, and criminal and civil justice. He currently chairs the Royal College of Physicians, Dementia UK, and the Clinical, Public Health and Social Care Advisory Committees which create National Guidelines at NICE, while also serving many other national and international organisations.

Reacting to his appointment David said:

“I am delighted to take on the role of Chair of Trustees at BeyondAutism and proud to be part of an organisation with such an aspirational vision, at both an individual and societal level, for autistic people and their families. I am excited to be part of that change and look forward to using my position as Chair to help the continued growth and reach of the charity.”

BeyondAutism is delighted that former Chair and Founder, Karen Sorab OBE will be staying on as a named Patron of the charity. After 22 years at the helm, as Founder, then CEO and latterly Chair of Trustees, Karen has led the growth of the charity from scratch, taking it from a school for 4 pupils to a multi-service organisation reaching over 200 learners every year in London and beyond. The hard work and dedication she has shown to children and young adults with autism was recognised in 2018 when she became the first Irish woman in 25 years to receive an Honorary OBE.

Karen Sorab OBE, departing Chair said of her time leading BeyondAutism:

“I am very proud of BeyondAutism’s achievements. From its humble beginnings as a class of 4 children at The Rainbow School, to the substantial charity it is today: two Ofsted outstanding schools, our buildings owned by the charity, a thriving Sixth Form, an expanding Post-19, and emerging Early Years and Outreach Services. I am also proud that because we have always been prepared to challenge, we have helped to make ABA appreciated and accessible to many. Most importantly of all, I am extremely proud of how we have been able to support and promote the needs of so many of our beneficiaries and their families. The future is bright, and I am excited to see where it takes BeyondAutism”.

Tracie Coultas-Pitman, CEO of BeyondAutism said:

“Since joining in 2015, I have had an immensely exciting time working alongside Karen, growing and developing BeyondAutism. I am delighted that she has agreed to become a patron enabling us to retain her expertise and passion. I am very much looking forward to working alongside David on this next phase of the BeyondAutism journey; his experience, networks and personal interest in BeyondAutism’s vision will ensure that Karen’s legacy reaches many more autistic children, young adults and their families.”

Additional information:


BeyondAutism is a charity dedicated to ensuring every child and young adult with autism accesses an education which empowers a life full of choice, independence and opportunity.

We run:

An Early Years’ service providing support for families and children aged 15 months – 5 years
BeyondAutism Schools, Independent Special Schools, offering specialist education for children and young adults with autism aged 4-19
A Post-19 provision offering opportunities to young adults with autism aged 19 up to 25 – preparing them for adulthood with a skillset that enables them to have choice and control
An Outreach and Training services for parents, carers, professionals and other schools – delivering life-changing outcomes in education settings and at home
A Research and Learning Hub which is a conduit for sharing great practice, for problem solving through research and for inspiring learning across the globe


Autism affects how a person communicates and experiences the world. People with autism can experience difficulties with communication and/or sensory processing
There are around 700,000 people with autism in the UK. If you include their families, autism is a part of daily life for 2.8 million people
It affects each person differently and is therefore often described as a spectrum (