Supporting Autism at Spring Common Academy
The particular needs of children with ASC are recognised in the Spring Common staffing structure. There is a team of specialist staff whose role is to support the delivery of an effective educational experience to all children with ASC in the school. In fulfilling this role they may take on a wide range of roles, including the following:
- direct teaching (usually in the ASC base rooms)
- maintaining links with parents
- advice on programme planning
- liaison with external professionals
- providing training to other staff
- support with the preparation of resources
All members of the school community are encouraged to approach members of the autism team to discuss any concerns they may have regarding the social or educational development of students with ASC.
At Spring Common we regard a close working relationship between home and school as vital for all of our students. For our students who have communication difficulties, including our young people with ASC, this is particularly important. Our role is more than simply the delivery of a curriculum but as partners in the overall development of each child. We anticipate that each teacher will take personal responsibility for:
- Ensuring that open daily communication is maintained with parents through the home / school book.
- Being sensitive to personal communication preferences of individual parents and accommodating these wherever possible.
- Fully consulting parents in relation to programme planning for their child both through formal and informal meetings such as annual reviews, multi-disciplinary meetings and parents’ evenings.
For pupils who follow highly individualised programmes of work in the Upper School, the ASC team have daily recording sheets to note engagement and progress in relation to each aspect of the school day. These are completed by the adult leading each activity, with a summary comment being made by the class teacher or lead TA. These are kept within the child’s blue folder, a resource folder for children with more complex ASC and communication difficulties that contains details of all their therapy plans and is kept with them at all times.
Many children with ASC experience difficulties that impact at home and school, for example with diet, toileting, sleeping and sensory sensitivities. Parents are welcome to contact the school to discuss these issues and seek support and where possible we will to work jointly with them. The first point of contact for a parent should be the class teacher. Many issues can be dealt with at this level but class teachers should involve a senior manager in more complex issues such as those which may require home visits or a referral to an external professional, such as a health or social care worker. The relevant Assistant Head for Lower or Upper School or the Assistant Head for Autism provision would be the normal person to involve when a class teacher feels this may be required.