Drummond School celebrates award for good autism practice

Drummond School in Inverness was recently awarded Autism Accreditation by The National Autistic Society, the UK’s leading charity for people on the autism spectrum and their families.

In celebrating their achievement the school invited friends and families to attend their primary sports day today, Thursday 27th June, where the Award was presented by Alison Footitt, The National Autistic Society’s Information Officer for Highland.

The Autism Accreditation award was given in recognition of the school’s good autism practice, including the work done on developing sensory approaches for pupils to minimise sensory overloads. The observers commented on an eagerness throughout the whole staff to learn new approaches and a willingness to critically evaluate the strategies already in use within the setting.

Autism Accreditation is an autism-specific quality assurance programme. It was set up in 1992 to improve the support available to autistic people in organisations throughout the UK and across the 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. Drummond School is now one of over 500 organisations that are accredited.

Drummond School began the process of becoming an Autism Accredited centre almost 3 years ago, in August 2016. The school had to measure its practices and approaches against a set of rigorous standards under four areas; Understanding, Enabling and Prompting Positive Outcomes for those with autism, and Commitment and Consultation.

Ceri Turner, Principal Teacher for Autism said: “Getting it right for our pupils with autism also ensures we are getting it right for all pupils with Additional Support Needs (ASN). This particular assessment tool was chosen by the school because of its comprehensive nature, addressing as it does a broad range of strategies that ensure good practice across the school and beyond, for all our pupils.”

Stephen Pyott, the Autism Accreditation Adviser for the school, said: “Drummond School should be exceptionally proud of their achievement. The National Autistic Society’s Autism Accreditation programme was launched over 20 years ago and sets extremely high standards, which the school has worked incredibly hard to meet. Being autistic means you feel, hear and see things in a different, often more intense, way to others and may struggle in certain social situations. More than 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum and it will affect each one of them slightly differently – some go onto successful careers while others need intensive support to go about their daily lives. Autism Accreditation highlights good autism practice and we are very pleased to be here to celebrate Drummond’s achievement. It is a great thing in itself and, we believe, will inspire other organisations and services to improve the way they support autistic people.”

Mark Elvines, Head Teacher at Drummond School, said: “I am in awe of what all our pupils achieve every day, this Award acknowledges the role Drummond School and its staff play in supporting those achievements. The Accreditation Award highlights what we as a school do well and where we can improve and grow to insure every pupil at Drummond has the best learning experience possible. I’d like to thank all our parents that contributed to the Accreditation process through consultation meetings and responding to surveys, plus our partners in other agencies for their time and opinions. Above all, we should all be proud of a truly remarkable group of young people.”

Find out more about Autism Accreditation on The National Autistic Society website: https://www.autism.org.uk/accreditation

27 Jun 2019
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