A PIONEERING Leicester special school has been awarded Advanced Autism Accreditation in recognition of its work to help children with a complex range of needs.
Oaklands Special School, in Evington, became the first school in the city to achieve accreditation for its autism work back in 2018.
Now, the National Autistic Society has awarded the school the Advanced Autism Accreditation due to its continued commitment to providing high-quality teaching and learning experiences for children with autism.
The school’s work includes a tailor-made ‘inside-outside’ curriculum, designed to prepare and equip pupils with the skills to live life outside school.
Oaklands headteacher Sarah Osborne said: “Our whole school community is incredibly proud of this achievement. Thanks to the hard work of everyone in our school, using training, advice and research to understand and support the needs of our autistic learners, this is another wonderful achievement for us to celebrate.
“Our bespoke ‘inside-outside’ curriculum helps to support every child to become a future adult, nurturing each unique child’s strengths, and preparing them with skills and understanding, resilience and self-confidence to lead happy and purposeful lives as members of our community in Leicester.”
Autism accreditation was introduced by the National Autistic Society back in 1992 to improve the support available to autistic people in organisations throughout the UK and across the world.
Organisations wanting to get advanced accreditation need to meet a standard of excellence and follow a framework for continuous self-examination and development. Over 500 organisations are now accredited.
Oaklands Special School also provides support and advice for families, as well as sharing its autism expertise with other professionals in Leicester and beyond.
Leicester assistant city mayor for education and housing, Cllr Elly Cutkelvin, said: “Oaklands Special School sets a fantastic example of how to ensure children on the autistic spectrum can benefit from such carefully tailored help and support.
“The commitment of the staff and whole school community means this result is thoroughly deserved.”
Stephanie de Vries from the National Autistic Society added: “Oaklands 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 the 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.”
More information is available on Autism Accreditation at the National Autistic Society website here. www.autism.org.uk/accreditation