Abbot’s Lea School receives National Autistic Status

A pioneering specialist school in Liverpool has been awarded an Advanced Accredited School Status by the National Autistic Society.

Abbot’s Lea School, based in Woolton, Liverpool, was recognised as an expert institution for its unrivalled commitment to understanding autism and setting the standard for autism practice in education.

Autism Accreditation is the UK’s only autism-specific quality assurance programme of support and development for those providing services to autistic people. It is an internationally recognised quality standard, and with 25 years of accreditation expertise, it is the longest running programme in the world.

Following an in-depth inspection of the school, assessors gave most positive feedback, including: “The leadership team are highly aspirational about the school, students and staff. The team work closely to strategically plan the school development around the needs of the students.”

“The school is actively involved in the development of supported internships across Liverpool and nationwide. The internship programme has led to students finding employment, including directly from the school.”

“The school has an overwhelmingly positive, calm and supportive atmosphere. Relationships between staff and students are very positive, respectful and trusting.”

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The National Autistic Society also required parents and guardians of students to express their own thoughts and feelings about the school and their own experiences as families. One parent said: “My son was diagnosed aged 7 and in mainstream school. I fought for a place in Abbot’s Lea for him and although it took months, we have never looked back. They are amazing at what they do, and how they treat our children.

“The school is outstanding and the staff are just as outstanding as the school. I really could not fault anything. The opportunities they offer the children is amazing and I just think it’s the best school ever! Thank you, Abbot’s Lea for making my son feel safe, secure and happy!”

Abbot’s Lea School’s visionary headteacher, Mrs Ania Hildrey, supported by her leadership team, ensures a combination of high quality traditional and innovative education is delivered to all students aged 3-19. The accreditation makes the school a leader in the special education and lives to fulfil the school’s mission statement to be the best specialist school in the world!

As believers in lifelong learning, staff at every level receive regular training to ensure they understand autism and in all that they do – regardless of their job role – are the best they can be. The ethos of the whole school is no different; while the school is rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, it doesn’t rest on its laurels and strives to keep on getting better and better.

The headteacher, Mrs Ania Hildrey, is delighted that the school has received Advanced Accredited School Status. Mrs Hildrey said: “We are completely overjoyed to have received this accreditation. Since I joined Abbot’s Lea School nearly five years ago, we have worked together – with the staff, external advisers, as well as our in-house experts: our students and their families – to continually challenge the status quo and do better!

“Whilst this work is never truly done, we have worked incredibly hard towards the highest of NAS standards and I am so delighted to have our practice recognised as exceptionally good.

“I am also so very proud of our team’s effort and want to extend my sincere thanks to all those who continue to support us – through encouragement and constructive challenge – to improve and develop our knowledge, understanding and practical skills in teaching, specialist therapeutic support and development of essential life skills.”

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