Highest autism accolade for Atherton primary school

Highest autism accolade for Atherton primary school

A Wigan Borough school for children with complex needs has become the first local authority primary in the North West to achieve a top accreditation for its work supporting pupils with autism.

Rowan Tree Primary School in Atherton has 115 pupils with severe and complex needs, many of whom have a diagnosis of autism.

It is one of only 11 schools or services in England to be awarded Advanced Autism Accreditation by a panel of experts from the National Autistic Society.

Enhanced practice commendations are only awarded to services where it is felt provision is going above and beyond usual expectations in supporting autistic people, and exceeds the Autism Accreditation.

On their visit last year the committee said they were impressed with the “consistency of practice seen across all areas of the school” referencing communication, understanding, increasing independence and sensory and emotional wellbeing.

They also said the school’s relationship with families and carers is highly effective and they have “established a number of support mechanisms to enhance family life and make it easier.”

The school was judged to be Outstanding at its last Ofsted inspection in 2017.

Liz Loftus, Headteacher at Rowan Tree Primary, said: “This award is recognition of staff expertise and hard work, together with our parents and families, and is a tribute to our brilliant pupils.

“Our school is going from strength to strength. I know the staff would share my view that it is a joy and privilege to teach and support such amazing pupils and their families in a happy and successful school.

“The strategies we’ve put in place for pupils with autism work brilliantly with all our pupils, so everyone has benefited. We are so proud of this achievement.”

Councillor Jenny Bullen, cabinet member for children and young people’s services at Wigan Council, said: “It is a brilliant achievement to be among the very small number of schools in the country to be recognised in this way. We are so proud to have such a wonderful school in our borough.

“We are ambitious to make our whole borough autism friendly and I hope we can continue to work with all partners and businesses to make that happen.”

Posted on Tuesday 22nd January 2019
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