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Autistic spectrum disorders

Priory Education and Children’s Services offer a range of specialist services with one common goal - helping young people to manage the range of different challenges autism presents, and to support them in achieving their potential.

Specialist environments for young people with autism

Our aim is for young people with autism to not just cope in education, but to thrive. Research shows specialist teaching, specific approaches and support programmes, such as those offered at Priory schools, colleges and residential services, can help to improve outcomes for those students.

Young people with autism can find education extremely challenging. Our extensive experience in supporting students with autism enables us to break negative cycles, create the right environments and deliver the necessary support needed for a young person to achieve in all areas of their development.

Our specialist autism schools and colleges offer:

  • Learning and care environments with appropriate levels of stimulation to minimise anxieties;
    • Well-equipped sensory rooms
    • Extensive grounds and fitness facilities to encourage physical activity
    • Visual signage to help with processing difficulties
    • 1:1 rooms for when group settings are too overwhelming
    • Discreet colour schemes to create calming environments
  • Structured personalised learning, care and therapy programmes;
    • Broad and varied curriculums, geared around key psychological theories
    • Bespoke timetables designed around the individual 
  • Easy access to comprehensive therapeutic input;
    • Reducing the cause of anxieties so young people have the best opportunities to learn and progress
    • Strong focus on developing social and independence skills
    • Group and 1:1 sessions 
  • Expert staff, rigorously trained in specific approaches to autism including behavioural support, enabling us to;
    • Analyse challenging behaviours to identify their root cause (e.g. frustrations caused by sensory issues or inability to communicate needs)
    • Equip young people with tools to self-regulate their behaviour
  • Quality education with opportunities to achieve nationally-recognised qualifications and accreditations;
    • From Entry Level to A-Level
    • Innovative teaching strategies based on international research to support young people with autism

Well-trained teams of specialists

Our experienced teams of professionals working in our specialist autism schools, colleges and residential services have an in-depth understanding of autism. In 2016, Priory Group began to accredit our staff training through OCN to undergraduate level, making us the only provider in our field to offer this. Our schools, colleges and residential services also offer:

  • All autism specific services have autism leads who champion the needs of our students
  • Senior management with extensive knowledge, skills and higher qualifications in autism
  • NAS and NASS registration
  • Opportunities for staff to attend NAS/NASS training and conferences as well as our own in-house annual autism conference
  • Team Teach training
  • Residential staff with Diploma Level 3 qualifications
  • Mandatory e-learning training programmes for all staff, including modules in ASD

Delivering great outcomes

Priory schools and colleges work hard to ensure that our young people get the best opportunities to further their studies in mainstream settings and beyond to university, paid work and apprenticeships. Our robust quality assurance tool examines the impact our services have on our students, allowing us to look at best practice in detail. 

Thanks for all of your support

"May I take this opportunity again to express my sincere thanks for all of your support, and to say how impressed I was with Priory College Swindon; it is apparent that you and your staff go out of your way to provide the best possible educational provision for young people with ASD.”

(Local Authority Youth Support Officer)