‘Breakthrough’ autism satellite school opens in Scotland

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 14:09 GMT Jump to Comments

The National Autistic Society in Scotland has today launched a ground-breaking new satellite school for children with autism in Scotland. Arran House in St Leonards, East Kilbride is a 'satellite' of NAS Scotland’s Daldorch House School in East Ayrshire and will provide state-of-the-art care and education for children and young people aged 5-19.

The launch of the new school comes days after the NAS announced that it will be entering a bid to open a new free school for young people with autism in Reading and builds on the NAS’ experience of running six highly successful schools across the UK.

According to a recent NAS report, 58% of parents want some kind of autism-specific provision for their children, yet only 18% of children are currently in this type of provision. Furthermore, 43% of children in autism-specific education have to travel out of area to attend school.

The new school, which is being launched in collaboration with South Lanarkshire Council, will bring specialist provision closer to children and young people in South Lanarkshire, allowing more young people with autism to access the education that is right for them closer to their families and within their local communities.

Autism is a developmental disability. People with the condition can experience severe challenges in communication and understanding the world around them. There are over half a million people with autism in the UK, an estimated 50,000 of which live in Scotland, and nearly 1000 with the condition are thought to live in East Kilbride.

Commenting, Shona Pinkerton, Principal of Daldorch House School and Continuing Education Centre said, “Autism challenges young people and their families in different ways. We developed the satellite school with South Lanarkshire Council because we believe that every young person with autism should have the best possible opportunity to live and learn in a setting that works for them. Within this outstanding facility, we have expertise and systems in place to enable these young people to develop skills, confidence, understanding and awareness of themselves and the society in which they live.”

Harry Stevenson, executive director of Social Work Resources, South Lanarkshire Council said, “South Lanarkshire Council is delighted to work in partnership with Daldorch House School on this innovative project. It is our policy to enable people with autism in South Lanarkshire to access help and support in their local communities wherever possible. Together with Daldorch House School, we look forward to Arran House providing support to local young people that will help them to develop and maintain a full and valued life within the community.”

Commenting, Mark Lever chief executive of The National Autistic Society (NAS) said: “The National Autistic Society works with our members and supporters, who are people with autism and their families, to help create a better world for people with the condition. Innovative services and productive collaborations are a crucial part of the work that we do. I am delighted to join Daldorch House School staff and South Lanarkshire Council in celebrating the launch of this first of its kind Care and Education Service for young people in South Lanarkshire.”

Daldorch House School and Continuing Education Centre is an independent, residential and day specialist school, managed by The National Autistic Society. The new satellite school will provide a broad, structured 24-hour curriculum enabling young people with autism to develop their learning and a range of daily living skills across the waking hours of the day, within their local community. The National Autistic Society is the UK's largest provider of specialist autism services. Our trained staff and volunteers are spread out across the UK and provide a lifeline for 100,000 people affected by autism every year.

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