Halesbury School, with 146 pupils aged from four to 18 years old, has been recognised for good autism practice and awarded Autism Accreditation by the UK’s leading charity for autistic people.
The award was given in recognition of the schools practice, “including a vision of success for their autism provision which is constantly evolving in light of a changing cohort of pupils, but also provides continued personal development of the staff team which brings new ideas and initiatives”.
It was presented by Stephanie de Vries, the National Autistic Society’s advisor to the school, at a special ceremony.
Autism Accreditation is a quality assurance programme and was set up by the National Autistic Society in 1992 to improve support available to autistic people in organisations throughout the UK and across the world, including local authorities, NHS trusts, education authorities, schools and colleges.
Organisations have to meet a standard of excellence and follow a framework for continuous self-examination and development.
The school is one of more than 500 organisations which are now accredited.
Amanda Appleby Payne, deputy headteacher, said: “As the first school in the Dudley Borough to receive this accreditation, we are proud of the acknowledgement of our specialism in providing for our young people and their families who live with autism.
"This recognition identifies our success to date and encourages us to continue to improve our provision for all our students.
"This is a continual journey where our focus is to prepare our young people to have a happy and meaningful life as they prepare for adulthood within our community.
"The accreditation celebrates our staff expertise in autism specific interventions, our support for the family through our outreach team and our transitions into the wider community.
"Our young people receive a curriculum that is relevant to their needs, supporting their social communication and interactions, allowing them opportunities to apply these skills in different settings.
"As a result, our students leave our provision with a skill set that will enable them to function as well as they are able as they transition into adulthood and the local community.”
Stephanie de Vries, NAS advisor said: “Halesbury School, should be exceptionally proud of their achievement.
"The National Autistic Society’s Autism Accreditation programme was launched more than 25 years ago and sets extremely high standards, which Halesbury School has worked incredibly hard to meet.“