Schools goes the extra mile to support pupils

Oakham Shires School, an independent special school for autistic pupils, has been recognised with a gold standard for their implementation of Ask, Accept, Develop (AAD).
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The school is part of a wider group of specialist schools which benefit from tailored clinical input. Ask, Accept, Develop was introduced across the group as a Neurodiversity Strategy to strengthen and continually progress our approach to the provision of care, education and clinical services to autistic individuals in an environment which is conducive to their strength and needs. The strategy recognises that despite underlying shared traits, autistic individuals are vastly different from one another.

Part of Options Autism, Oakham Shires School welcomes pupils aged 11 - 18, It is a place where difference is embraced and championed and strives to give all their students a voice that is listened to and respected.

The school follows a framework that is adapted and personalised to each individual pupil. This approach, combined with small class sizes and an autism friendly environment, supports student to achieve their personal best in preparation for the adult world.

Oakham Shires SchoolOakham Shires School
Oakham Shires School

At the heart of everything the school does is the premise of Ask, Accept, Develop, a strategy which aligns with the Neurodiversity movement and is leading the way in education and care practice which is Neurodiversity affirming.

Oakham Shires School uses the strategy to always ASK young people how to make their lives better and make sure their voice is heard; to always ACCEPT difference and to always help and support others and themselves to DEVELOP and apply it to all of their interactions with their students. By embracing the Ask, Accept, Develop Strategy the school have built an inclusive environment where students feel valued and heard, that their opinion matters and this outstanding practice has recently been recognised by Dr Freya Spicer-White and David Leatherbarrow, CEO of Outcomes First Group as the school achieved the Gold Award under the company’s AAD Accreditation programme.

When asked about the achievement, Michelle Jordan, Acting Head Teacher said, "As a school, we are very committed to not only ensuring the best outcomes for our pupils but to involve them in the choices made along their journey, so we are very proud to have received this award in acknowledgement of our Ask, Accept, Develop approach.

Dr Freya Spicer-White commented “When I recently visited Oakham Shires, I was most impressed by the calm atmosphere and the genuine care and dedication shown by every single member of the school staff team creating a truly inclusive community. The students were engaged in their learning and were thriving as they were developing to be the best versions of themselves. Oakham Shires School truly deserve their Gold Accreditation.”

For further information about the school please contact Michelle Jordan on 01572 720357

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