Alt Bridge School in Knowsley has been recognised for the excellent standard of support it provides to autistic pupils by the UK’s leading charity for autistic people.
The school has been awarded Autism Accreditation by the National Autistic Society, recognising its high level of practice that benefits the learning and achievement of pupils who have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
During lesson observations the assessor noted that autistic pupils were encouraged to enjoy the challenge of trying out or learning a new activity or skill.
They also observed that staff had high expectations for pupils and that they presented new activities or experiences in a structured way which reduced anxiety and promoted engagement, encouraging children to play an active role in sessions.
Mrs Whitby SEND Strategy Leader and Specialist SEND teacher at Alt Bridge School, said:
“I’m delighted we’ve achieved this accreditation as it demonstrates our commitment to provide an inclusive and supportive environment for autistic students. The 12 month assessment period has helped us improve and develop appropriate policies, resources and strategies to help address the unique needs of our autistic individuals.
“Over time we have enhanced our tailored support offer and educational strategies by creating an autism-friendly environment and the accreditation has helped further empower our autistic pupils to reach their full potential and promote their overall well-being.”
Autism Accreditation is a quality assurance programme set up by the National Autistic Society to improve the support available to autistic people in organisations throughout the UK and across the world, including local authorities, NHS trusts, education authorities, schools, colleges and more.
To gain Accreditation organisations have to meet a standard of excellence and follow a framework for continuous self-examination and development.
Cllr Margaret Harvey, Knowsley Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:
“It’s fantastic to have the school’s excellent autism practice formally recognised with Accreditation from the National Autistic Society. Well done to all the staff involved.”
The award was presented to Alt Bridge School by the National Autistic Society’s on 26 June 2023.
Jonny Knowles, National Autistic Society spokesperson, commented:
“Alt Bridge School should be exceptionally proud of their achievement. The National Autistic Society’s Autism Accreditation programme was launched over 25 years ago and sets extremely high standards, which Alt Bridge School has worked incredibly hard to meet.
“There are approximately 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK, as well as their three million family members and carers. Autism is a spectrum condition. This means autistic people have their own strengths and varying and complex needs, from 24-hour care to simply needing clearer communication and a little longer to do things at work and school. Without the right support or understanding, autistic people can miss out on an education, struggle to find work and become extremely isolated.
“Autism Accreditation highlights good autism practice and we are very pleased to mark Alt Bridge’s achievement. It is a great thing in itself and, we believe, will inspire other organisations and services to improve the way they support autistic people.”
Find out more about Autism Accreditation on the National Autistic Society website.