STAFF and students at Hermitage-based Prior’s Court School are celebrating following a glowing report from Ofsted inspectors.
The school, which supports young people from across the UK with profound autism, has been rated outstanding following the inspection in July.
Providing education and residential care for children and young adults with autism, the school was awarded the highest rating by inspectors for the ‘overall experiences and progress of children and young people’.
An outstanding rating was also given for ‘the impact and effectiveness of managers’, following the two-day inspection.
The school offers day and residential placements and teaches students, many of whom have limited language due to the severity of their autism, to self-manage behaviour, to communicate and develop independent living and social skills.
In the report, inspectors said: “Many children and young people have developed the ability to self-regulate emotions and manage their behaviour, to the extent of being able to cope in the community, interacting and socialising with others.
“This means that they are able to go shopping, to go to the cinema or to enjoy a meal with family and friends.
“Parents have commented on how this would not have been thought possible before admission.”
Interactions between young people and staff were observed to be “characterised with great care and tremendous patience on behalf of the staff”.
The report said: “They [the young people] have an evident trust in staff known to them.
“The quality of the relationships is exemplary.”
Staff were also commended for their expertise, with inspectors commenting: “Staff are very skilled and demonstrate enormous patience so that the quality of care provided to children and young people is of the highest standard”.
Director of care Sarah Butcher said the latest report reflected the hard work and dedication of all the care staff at Prior’s Court.
She added: “We plan to continue to improve the already high standards of practice, as well as deliver on our ambitious plans for the future of Prior’s Court, including the new, purpose-built development of four homes which will help us expand our reach even further.”