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Tettenhall Wood achieves advanced autism accreditation

Staff and pupils at Tettenhall Wood School are celebrating after gaining Autism Accreditation at Advanced status from the National Autistic Society, the UK’s leading charity for autistic people.

The award was given in recognition of the school's consistently high standard of autism practice across four main areas including communication, sensory needs, independence and emotional regulation.

Tettenhall Wood is one of only 34 schools in the whole of England to hold the prestigious accreditation standard.

The assessment highlighted numerous strengths, including detailed and informative personal support plans, proactive and preventative strategies to support autistic young people to avoid anxiety, confusion or distress from occurring or escalating, and a strong focus on the well-being of young people and improving their quality of life.

During all observations, assessors found that learners were treated with dignity, status and respect and were provided with meaningful positive feedback which appeared to boost confidence and self-esteem. They also found that staff and learners have clearly developed positive and purposeful relationships which was evidenced in observations and parental feedback.

Assessors were particularly impressed by the TWS Sports Podcast, hosted by young people with autism which, earlier this year, was named the winner of the Best Equality and Social Impact category at the global Sports Podcast Awards. Assessors said it gave 'young people opportunities to develop work related life skills within a meaningful and engaging context'.

In his letter to the school, Autism Accreditation Quality Manager Stephen Dedridge said: "Congratulations on achieving the highest standards of good practice in supporting autistic young people."

Executive Headteacher Sarah Whittington said: "We are thrilled to receive the status and it is a testament to our amazing learners, their families and our dedicated and skilled staff team. This was an extremely robust process and I am proud to lead our very special school."

Councillor Chris Burden, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Work, said: "This is a notable achievement for everyone connected with Tettenhall Wood School which has become one of only a small number of schools in the whole country to have received Autism Accreditation at Advanced from the National Autistic Society, and I am thrilled for Sarah, her team and all the staff and pupils."

Autism Accreditation is an autism-specific quality assurance programme. It was set up by the National Autistic Society 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, schools, colleges and more.

To gain accreditation, organisations have to meet a standard of excellence and follow a framework for continuous self-examination and development.

Celebrating gaining Autism Accreditation at Advanced from the National Autistic Society are, left to right, Councillor Christopher Burden, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Work, Tettenhall Wood School students Thomas Watkins and Alyssa Dunn, and Sarah Whittington, Executive Headteacher.


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