Autism Accreditation

We are celebrating after being officially accredited by the National Autistic Society (NAS) once again following our recent assessment in January 2020.

The Autism Accreditation is an internationally recognised quality standard by NAS. It was set up in 1992 to world, including local authorities, NHS trusts, education authorities, local autism societies and private companies.

To gain accreditation, organisations have to meet a standard of excellence and follow a framework for continuous self-examination and development. It is a way for organisations to show they offer excellent support to autistic children and adults.

Achieving accreditation proves that an organisation is committed to understanding autism and setting the standard for autism practice.

Abbot’s Lea School has come a long way in recent years to develop our practice and achieve positive outcomes for students. A panel of experienced autism professionals at National Autistic Society reported that they found “compelling evidence of the considerable impact the school has on the quality of life of autistic young people, both during the time they are at school but also by providing them with confidence and skills to offer greater success in adult life.”

The assessment team met with one member of staff, who had joined the school as a Teaching Assistant in September 2019. When asked about their induction staff said; “Amazing, lovely and supportive staff” and “You feel like they (SLT) want to invest in you and your professional development.”

Questionnaires from parents highlighted the outstanding effort from the professionals working at Abbot’s Lea School. One parent commented,

“Abbots Lea is a wonderful, supportive, inspirational environment for my child. In just over a year he has grown and developed massively in confidence and academic progress. Most importantly however, his mental health and happiness have improved an indescribable amount. Abbots Lea have changed his life and given him happiness and hope for his bright future.”

Our Positive Behaviour Support approaches were a key focus of our assessment. Our report highlighted that during all 33 observations students appeared happy or relaxed and content.

Within all observations, staff worked proactively at the first signs of dysregulation to provide timely support to the students they were supporting. Staff are clearly aware of the triggers and challenges for the young people and were observed differentiating their approach to each young person.

Where best practice was observed, students identified their own triggers and took themselves to their own work stations, safe space or outside of the classroom to help with self-regulation.

Teachers and support staff are extremely positive and adopt a can-do approach when working with the students. Throughout all observations it was evident that students and staff have developed positive trusting relationships.

“Throughout observations, staff demonstrated a good understanding of Positive Behaviour Support, which was reinforced by person-centred planning and the new positive behaviour support system.”

“The school should further support parents in understanding the philosophy and vision behind some of the recently introduced evidence-based approaches. A particular focus should be around Restorative Practice and how this is incorporated into the wider range of tools within the positive behaviour support system.”

We would like to give thanks to our NAS adviser Mr Knowles who has become a familiar face to students and staff at Abbot’s Lea School. Mr Knowles has continued to support our accreditation journey, sharing practice and his expertise with us to enhance our knowledge about positive outcomes for autistic people.

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