The Finalists

Our 10 judges, leading experts in the field of autism have chosen the finalists for the 2017 Autism Professionals Awards. Congratulations to the finalists.


Axcis Education Recruitment is the foremost specialist supplier of quality special educational needs (SEN) staffing solutions in the UK. Our commitment to working with government and professional partners plus our duty of care, ensures that, despite wide-ranging changes in education, we can have a positive effect on the lives of the young people with SEND we ultimately support. We appreciate these young people are some of the most vulnerable in our education system and require inclusive nurture to allow them to achieve to the very best of their ability.














Network Autism is a place where professionals can come together, open up new channels of information and share good practice.









































For more than 38 year RIS Healthcare has been dedicated to providing a wide range of products designed to improve oral care. RIS is the producer of oraNurse the UK’s only unflavoured, non-foaming, Fluoride toothpaste. The paste is designed for anyone who has intolerance to mint or issues with taste.








































































































































































































































































Established by The National Autistic Society (NAS) and its affiliated local societies, with support from the Department of Health, Autism Accreditation has been the foundation upon which much of the successful expansion of quality services for people with autism has been built.






Awards for an Individual

The Axcis Award for Achievement by an Individual Education Professional

Jessica Kingsley, Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Jessica is the founder and publisher of Jessica Kingsley Publishers, which for over 20 years has focused on publishing positive, inspiring and informational books by, for and about people with autism, and the autism spectrum in general. She was the first publisher to see the need for positive information about Asperger’s Syndrome by families, teachers, clinicians and other professionals, as well as the wider public, and has travelled all over the world commissioning some of the leading writers in the field, many of them personal friends, including Luke Jackson, Tony Attwood, Kathy Hoopmann, and Wenn Lawson. With almost 800 books on autism now in print, JKP is highly respected as the `go-to’ autism publisher, and the reward for dedicated service to the autism community comes in the form of incredibly positive feedback from readers about the difference the books have made to their lives. Jessica believes passionately in the power of good information to change lives for the better.

Dr Judith Poole, Blackpool and The Fylde College

Judith has had over 25 years of experience in Further and Higher Education.  She is also active on the national stage, presenting not only in the area of Autism awareness and how best to support people with autism to be the best they can be, but also Safeguarding, SEND, Equality and Diversity and Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Judith is currently Head of Student Support and Wellbeing, at Blackpool and The Fylde College -  spearheading  a specialist Autism team both for the support of students and for the provision of staff development. Year on year the service achieves outstanding results for students with disabilities, learning difficulties and differences - working closely with national and local government and other external organisations, including The Autism Education Trust  for whom she leads the North  West Regional Training Hub for Post 16 provision.

Shannon Coles, STARS

Shannon has been working with children with autism for over forty years, initially as a teacher in special schools but more recently as an outreach teacher and Autism Education Trust trainer with STARS, a Leeds Children's Services outreach team. Shannon is now retired, but still involved with families who have 'slipped through the net' for one reason or another, and with a monthly social group for young people with Asperger's.




Lifetime Achievement Award

To be announced at the ceremony

Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Individual on the Autism Spectrum

Caroline Hearst, AutAngel/ Autism Matters

Caroline Hearst trained as an art psychotherapist.  She self-identified and achieved a diagnosis of autism in later adulthood, after years of personal therapy. Caroline credits her discovery that she is autistic with enabling her to understand herself and transform her life.
Caroline is passionate about contributing to culture change in relation to autism.  

Her Autism Matters training sessions help autistic adults and health and social practitioners to identify and understand autism.  She has  developed and facilitated an innovative peer support and education programme for people identifying as autistic or wondering if they might be autistic. The pilot of this programme was recently evaluated led by researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London and received overwhelmingly positive feedback.

Caroline is the founder and a director of of AutAngel community interest company, and edited their sellout book Being Autistic. Caroline regularly presents at Autscape,  and serves on Reading’s Autism Partnership Board. 

Jasmine Biasi, Complete Training and Assessment Ltd

At the age of 18 I was diagnosed with Autism, PDA, ADHD and Dyspraxia. After going through life very unsure of who I was and why I was particularly different to the people around me, it was an absolute blessing to discover that there was a reason behind all of this. My diagnosis has opened up so many doors I never knew existed. I have turned my love for people into a career and now work in a fantastic company who supports people with all kinds of disabilities. My goal is to allow others with barriers such as my own to achieve their dreams and understand that they deserve the best quality of life no matter what. 

Leena Haque, BBC

Leena joined the BBC in 2014, initially as part of the finance team managing the relocation of departments from London to Salford and later, joining the Design & Engineering division as a Senior UX Designer, responsible for Project CAPE.  Leena has been influential in introducing the concept of Neurodiversity at the BBC and subsequently forming Project CAPE, a project working with partners inside and external to the BBC, exploring the positive impacts that Neurodiversity has on issues including accessibility and creativity.  The project has become so successful, Leena has been invited to present her work at several events including conferences across the UK, Europe and America.  In her spare time Leena actively supports many local charities and as an up and coming artist, has recently had her work exhibited by Artism uk.

Award for Most Inspirational Volunteer

Debbie Marshall, CANadda

Debbie Marshall, who has Asperger’s and is a mum of two children with ASD, founded CANadda in September 2009. She has been Chair since the start and she is very passionate about helping other autistic adults, families and working with professionals.
She helps others by putting social events on, raising awareness and by giving talks about autism including working with the police in Lincolnshire. CANadda’s membership is growing every year and so is CANadda’s social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.
Outside of CANadda Debbie is always busy helping others where she can. She is still helping with the Lincoln ‘All Age Autism strategy’ which she has been involved with since the beginning (over 7 years ago). She was invited to Houses of Parliament in 2016 for the launch of The Westminster Commission on Autism as she did some work in the community around GP’s, hospitals and health which was then was submitted to Westminster. Debbie also has a Diploma in autism.

Jane Frost, ASSERT Brighton and Hove

Jane is the mother of a 37 year old man with Asperger Syndrome (AS), who was diagnosed at 16. Since 2001, Jane has supported adults with AS of or High Functioning Autism (HFA) in a voluntary capacity through the charity ASSERT (B&H) which she helped found. Although she has found the work frustrating at times, Jane has enjoyed celebrating the many achievements and successes of people she has supported. Whilst Jane is less actively involved these days, she still supports 5 adults on the spectrum all of whom she has known for over 14 years.

Jordan Fernando, ‘’Just Jordan’’/ The One Stop Shop

Jordan is an autistic woman who volunteers for The National Autistic Society, supporting young vulnerable autistic children and teenagers. She also works with the Young Campaigners Group Scotland, hosts the ‘I’m One Campaign Coffee Morning’ every year and has set up a Facebook page and free monthly newsletter. Jordan has been raising awareness and fundraising since the age of 4 along with her mum Suzanne. Through her volunteer work, Jordan has helped and supported countless individuals. She founded the successful ‘’Just Jordan’’ in 2016 and enjoys writing cartoon scripts for her newsletter. She has proven to be a positive asset and a champion for people with autism. 


Award for Outstanding Healthcare Professional

Eileen Mulholland, NHS Lanarkshire 

Eileen has been a health visitor for 16 years and became interested in ASD when she realised that families on her caseload were struggling to cope with both the diagnosis and their children’s behaviour. She undertook a MSC in ASD to increase her knowledge in order to better support and understand the difficulties families faced. She started a support group Little STARS in 2007 which has quickly expanded into a busy support group for children, parents and siblings. Eileen works with the diagnostic service in her area and further assists colleagues, supporting them to enable the families on their caseloads.


Dr Helen Pearce, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Helen Pearce is a Consultant Psychiatrist working within Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV).  She is dual trained within the sub-specialties of child and adolescent psychiatry and learning disability psychiatry with particular training and expertise in the Autism Spectrum.

Helen has extensive experience in autism. This has been within children's mental health services, learning disability services, adult mental health services and within forensic services.

She currently works as consultant psychiatrist within the forensic service. Helen is the responsible clinician for the specialist autism-specific medium-secure inpatient unit (for autism and asperger syndrome).

Helen regularly provides autism training for professionals both locally and nationally.

Dr Tiago Pinto, Brookdale Care

Tiago Pinto is a Clinical Psychologist who found his specialism working with children, young people and adults with autism. Since he started his career he has become fascinated with the range of autism presentations and was always determined to devise the best support and appropriate interventions for each client.  In his day-to-day practice, Tiago comes across adults with a mix of diagnosis, when autism is the core factor shadowing the presentation. He believes there is still a lot to do to raise more awareness in supporting adults with autism and consider therapeutic interventions to improve people’s lives and outcomes. He is a relentless speaker, bringing client’s voices to the forefront of professional’s fields.

Team Awards

Award for Inspirational Education Provision - Primary Schools

Birtenshaw School

In 2016, Birtenshaw School celebrated its Diamond Anniversary as a non-maintained special school for children with moderate to severe learning disability, Autistic spectrum conditions, significant physical impairment and / or complex health needs. Birtenshaw’s primary provision offers a “child centred” approach to learning with a focus on developing communication, self-awareness and social interaction skills. The children are happy and thrive in an environment where staff are able to harness creative curiosity. The learning day is adapted for each child through clear routines and structured lessons where individualised learning objectives are met through play, intensive interaction and sensory learning and supported by therapeutic sessions such as hydrotherapy, rebound therapy and sensory integration.  The curriculum also has plenty of space for practical activities such as yoga, pony-riding and other offsite activities or bringing learning to life outside in the mud kitchen or outdoor classroom. Importantly, every achievement is celebrated no matter how small it may appear to others.

Burbage Primary School

Burbage Primary School is set in a small village in rural Wiltshire. The school became an academy in 2013 and was one of the first schools to become part of the expanding Excalibur Academies Trust. The school enjoys collaborative working within the Trust while maintaining their individuality and offer an innovative and creative “all-through” approach for all children including those with disabilities and those with Special Educational Needs/Autism. The Director of Additional and Special Educational Needs for Excalibur Academies Trust works closely with the school. The last OFSTED was in 2015 and reports that disabled pupils and those who have Special Educational Needs, which includes those with Autism, are included fully in lessons and supported well in their learning. The school is pro-active in ensuring suitably trained staff; the SENCo achieved the National Award Post Graduate Certificate for Vulnerable Learners and Inclusion in 2011 and is supporting another member of the teaching staff in her training to be the schools’ next SENCo.

Haworth Primary School

Haworth Primary is an expanding mainstream primary school in Haworth, West Yorkshire.  The school has seen a significant increase in the number of children with ASC within their community and were passionate about providing inclusive provision which effectively met their needs. In January 2015, the school initially opened an interim Designated Specialist Provision, 'The Station', to support the needs of these children throughout school. This has now been opened as a permanent 12 place provision, with a wider range of children also accessing the nurturing provision.

Children in the Station spend the majority of their time in their mainstream class with their peers and access 'The Station' for specialist provision such as sensory sessions, social skills development and fun regulating activities. CPD is given a high priority for staff in the DSP and the wider school, which has ensured consistency across the school. All staff foster excellent relationships with the families and children to support their development and act as their advocates.

Award for Inspirational Education Provision- Secondary School & post-16 provision

Clare Mount Specialist Sports College

Clare Mount was the first secondary school in Wirral LA to achieve NAS Accreditation in 2014, and is now developing a fantastic outreach service involving other schools, parents and the local community in how to best support children and young people on the autism spectrum. So far, training has been undertaken by over 270 teachers from over 65 different Wirral schools.

Pupils celebrate a wealth of achievements outside the classroom, including in sport, residential visits, work experience placements, Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, or in their personal and social skills.

Clare Mount is an Outstanding school for students aged 11-19 with Autism and other learning difficulties. Its success in meeting the needs of ASC students has seen the demand for places still outstrip availability despite tripling of the provision. In 2015 and 2016 Clare Mount was placed in the top 1% of all secondary schools nationally for progress, showing the academic outcomes for our pupils are second to none. In feedback to the school one parent said,

“This school is wonderful – it has improved our son’s life more than words can say.”

Coping with University Life, Ulster University

Monique Harte and Dr Greg Kelly are both occupational therapists teaching on the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy programme at Ulster University.  Dr Kelly is also Course Director for the Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma/MSc in Sensory Integration run in partnership with Sensory Integration Network (UK and Ireland).  In 2014, they were awarded funding from Ulster University for a widening access project aimed at easing transition into higher education and developing strategies to reduce stress and promote positive coping for young people with autism. They developed a new Continuing Personal and Professional Development module – Coping with University Life Using Mindfulness and Sensory Strategies - and participants were offered fee-free places. Following the success of the first project, they gained funding from the Garfield Weston Trust to run it for a second year and plan to run it for another year with support from the Centre for Flexible and Continuing Education.





ESPA College is a post 16 autism provision that prepares learners for life and work. It provides a range of residential and transition homes to suit the needs of individuals as well as bespoke programmes of study. The college meets the needs of learners from pre entry to level 3 as well as support to autistic learners at University up to and including master’s degree level. The college also offers specialist traineeships and internships for autistic learners and works in partnership with local general further education colleges and work based learning providers to provide joint specialist and vocational study programmes.  The college was inspected by Ofsted in 2016 and it was noted by them that the complex needs of students were met from a wide range of flexible and individual vocational programmes.


Award for Inspirational Education Provision - Other Education Providers

Autus, The Foundation

Autus is a registered CIO set up in 2013.  We make use of innovative 3D gaming technology to engage and motivate our service users to build their confidence, skills and abilities, and as they grow we provide them with interesting employment and volunteering opportunities.  We have a virtual environment, an online 3D campus that people log into with avatars (digital versions of themselves) to participate in learning and skills development (including accredited vocational qualifications), social and peer support activities.  The virtual environment enables us to offer a flexible, personalised programme with added features of contextual, scenario based learning as well as inspirational games and role play.  Our skilled team also teach 3D modelling enabling those interested to create and improve the environment they learn in. 




Creative Learning Team, Sunderland Empire Theatre

Over the past 4 years, the Creative Learning team at Sunderland Empire have strived to deliver unique projects with the autism community, both at Sunderland Empire and through outreach across the Sunderland area. The key remit for these projects is to deliver interesting, leading and exceptional work in autism access and creative learning engagement.

In 2015, the Creative Learning team were successful in achieving Arts Council funding to support ‘Get Curious!’ This ASD Family Learning project was delivered in Partnership with National Theatre and their acclaimed production the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, supported by local cultural organisations from across Sunderland.

Over the past year alone, the team have supported 1239 in accessing as audiences at Relaxed and Supported experience performances, and 723 instances of people with Autism accessing creative learning.

The astounding outcomes of this very special project based learning have resulted in the identification across the UK of this project as a unique example of best practise. The close working relationships forged continue to grow and the Creative Learning team have developed an Autism-specific youth theatre in collaboration with No Limits Theatre.

Ysgol y Deri Autism Outreach Service and Cardiff and Vale Occupational Therapy Service

The Practical Autism Toolkit iBook developed from the contributors’ collaborative work with over 700 amazing pupils with autism and the many superb people supporting them in Vale of Glamorgan schools. The highly effective, interactive learning resource is available to download from Ysgol Y Deri website:

Augmented with photo galleries, audio and video clips it describes practical, tried and tested resources and strategies that help create autism friendly environments and support pupils at school. Local schools feel ownership of the constantly evolving book and it is widely regarded and used. The iBook is a creative response to the challenge of supporting an increasing number of young people with autism with a fixed amount of resource. People with autism teach us something new every day; in this electronic format the toolkit can continue to evolve.

Award for Outstanding Adult Services

Autism Diagnostic Research Centre

The ADRC team came together nine years ago because of a recognized, unmet need; adults seeking a diagnosis were frequently falling through the gap in services.

ADRC is a small organization with a close-knit, dedicated team of autism specialists who not only have a great deal of experience and expertise within the field of autism but who also care passionately about the work that they do and the people that they work with. The whole team has a shared vision; a true culture of respect and joint working with autistic people, their families and carers. For autistic people, ADRC's assessment process and person-centred report change the diagnosis from being a label of limited value to one which can transform lives. Each report includes a profile of the person's unique profile of strengths and weaknesses. The recommendations and strategies are designed to be of long-term impact and help each person to realise their untapped potential, work towards fulfilling their potential and lead a rewarding life.

ADRC is generally regarded by patients, practitioners and commissioners as a gold-star service; this is testimony to the hard work and dedication of the whole team at ADRC. 

Step into Work Plus, Autism Together

Step Into Work Plus has been a Big Lottery funded scheme from North West charity Autism Together. Its ambition was to reach people on the autism spectrum who fell into the gap between extra care funding and employment. Small teams of students have learned about workplace conduct, how to use public transport, how to dress for business and even how to run their own micro business. The experience has been life-changing for many of the 126 young adults who have taken part. Forty two are now in paid employment, 19 are in voluntary roles and seven are in full-time education. 



Wast Hills, Autism Service

Wast Hills is an autism and learning disabilities specialist service, that provides care and support for individuals experiencing extremely difficult and challenging times in their lives. The team are all aware of the cornerstone of supporting individuals with autism, stepping into their world to provide support. We feel privileged in having developed the skills to be able to do so, rather than expecting service users to fit into any mould that may not be the best application of their potential.

We support people who have varied skills and interests, often at a time when they feel least able to communicate and can be driven to harm themselves or others as they are unable to feel heard. We are able to advocate for service users whilst learning from them and helping them to communicate their needs and desires in whichever mode is most comfortable for them.

Award for Outstanding Health Services

National Adult Outpatient Neurodevelopmental Clinic, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

The service covers ASC and ADHD as well as various genetic conditions, and is staffed by a dedicated team of doctors, nurses, psychologists, neurodevelopmental specialists, managers and administrators. The team dedicates itself to providing gold-standard and patient-centred diagnostic assessments at a national level; with bespoke recommendations for each patient with options to be followed up locally or in the national service if necessary. The clinic maintains strong links with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) and a genetics team at Guy’s to make sure the latest research can inform their clinical work and directly help improve people’s lives. They also provide training and advice to other services and professionals in order to make sure care provided for those with ASC is of the highest quality possible.

Social Communication Team, Whittington Health

Islington Social Communication Team is part of Whittington Health NHS and offers a high quality assessment and intervention service to children under 5.  The model of multi-disciplinary working enables a close and co-ordinated partnership with families. The aim is to enable a ‘good start’ for families, building strong individual relationships and empowering families by sharing knowledge and skills.

The Team is highly innovative and prepared to adapt to service user feedback. Recent initiatives not only reflect best practice but have responded to a rapid escalation of demand - a three-fold rise in referrals in 4 years.  The assessment pathway has been streamlined and a flexible post-diagnostic programme of parent workshops/courses has been developed.

There is a strong background of local collaborative working.  This has enabled the development of joint interventions such as an intensive feeding clinic and a nursery staff training programme. The Team is also involved in researching local tends in referrals.

The Northdale Centre, Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust

The Northdale Centre provides in-patient secure care to adult males with a diagnosis of autism,who have come into contact with criminal justice system.  The team has a strong multidisciplinary approach to care with input from Nursing, psychiatry, psychology, Occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and more.  The passion, commitment and drive from the staff team has been commended by Peer Review Auditors, CQC, patient families and other visiting agencies and professionals.

The team has various mottos such as “you meet one person with Autism and you have met one person with Autism” and this has been instrumental in providing individualised, flexible care to all.  The collaborative, flexible approach to care and responsive yet structured therapeutic environment has resulted in huge success in reducing average length of stay within secure services.

The team are always willing to learn and develop their own skills but also work with families and other services to ensure the patients receive the best care possible while they are in hospital and beyond.

Award for Outstanding Family Support

Autism Spectrum Service for Information, Support and Training (ASSIST), Wokingham Borough Council

Established in 2005, the aim of the ASSIST service is to work in a proactive, preventative way with families and providers to support children and young people with autism to reach their full potential.

ASSIST is a Wokingham Borough Council family support service which has developed and changed to meet the requests of the people who use the service, the local area needs and the needs of the local authority.  The team’s working model is child centred, using the Early Support and Signs of Safety/Wellbeing principles of working.  The approach to intervention is holistic, creative and directed by the needs of the individual and those around him or her.  The service provides robust information, support and training, especially supporting families’ pre and post diagnosis. 

A key factor for the service is to build capacity – always looking at ways to work with many, sharing knowledge, skills and understanding of autism.


Parent to Parent, The National Autistic Society

Parent to Parent is the NAS’ UK-wide confidential telephone service providing emotional support to parents and carers of autistic children and adults. The service is provided by 20 trained parent volunteers, who are all parents of autistic children and adults aged between eight and 43. They offer other parents and carers the opportunity to talk through any issues, problems or feelings they are experiencing and also signpost them to further sources of information and support.

The volunteers offer telephone support from their own homes around the UK and are asked to give two hours a week to the service, but many often give a lot more. They use their own personal experience of autism and the impact it has on their families, to support others in similar situations. Several of the current volunteers called Parent to Parent themselves and now want to ensure that other parents get the support that they very much appreciated.


The PTA Team, Parents Talking Asperger’s 

Founded by autism mom Karen Irvani in 2012, PTA is a Christian ministry and voluntary support group for parents of children and young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome (diagnosed/pre-diagnosis)/High Functioning Autism. In that time, the PTA team has grown from three to 18 core members, runs weekly PTA Youth and PTA Junior clubs, and serves almost 1,500 families nationwide and overseas. PTA supports in person and online and its main aim is to create a support forum enabling parents to share the highs and lows of living a life that’s wired rather differently to the perceived neurotypical “norm”. Its secondary aim is to seek the help of the Autism and educational community to promote awareness and positive life change for young people, their siblings and their parents.

Award for Most Supportive Employer

City of Norwich Swimming Club

The UEA City of Norwich Swimming Club is one of the biggest swimming clubs in Great Britain with over 1200 swimmers. We pride ourselves on inclusion and being a club for all. A number of swimmers with autism enjoy swimming at a very high level with us. Our ethos is mirrored within our workforce and a highly valued member of our coaching team is on the autistic spectrum. Coaching courses, CPD and mentoring are offered to all. Coaching positions are offered to passionate ambitious qualified candidates.



Step into Work Plus, Autism Together

Step Into Work Plus has been a Big Lottery funded scheme from North West charity Autism Together. Its ambition was to reach people on the autism spectrum who fell into the gap between extra care funding and employment. Small teams of students have learned about workplace conduct, how to use public transport, how to dress for business and even how to run their own micro business. The experience has been life-changing for many of the 126 young adults who have taken part. Forty two are now in paid employment including 3 ex-students who now work part-time on our Step Into Work plus programme.


Tin Team, Tin Arts

TIN Arts are an inclusive dance organisation based in Durham and delivering throughout the North of England. As a social enterprise, we are passionate about celebrating difference and diversity through the arts and we ensure all of our activities are open to participants of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

TIN Arts was formed in 1999 and over the past 17 years we have established ourselves as a nationally leading organisation in the development and delivery of inclusive dance activities.

Our education and community programme is one of the largest in England in the way that it includes, engages and represents children, young people and adults with a learning disability, autism and / or additional need.

Award for Most Creative Community Project

Footprints Life Camp, The Holmewood School London

Farming+Outdoor Education+Life-skills
'Taking steps to be the best you can be'

Footprints Life Camp was founded by Naj D’Silva in February 2016. It is a not-for-profit social enterprise which combines farming, outdoor education and life-skills to increase independence of young people on the autistic spectrum. We run specialised holiday camps and offer paid internships for young people on the spectrum providing meaningful work experience whilst reducing the risk of social exclusion. Our aim is to give young people the opportunity to be the best they can be. Social impact has been significant with 100% of young people and parents believing Footprints Life Camp increased self-esteem, independence and social skills in 2016.


Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC)

Following in the footsteps of previous autistic-led projects such as the ‘Autonomy’ journal, the ‘Theorising Autism Project’ and ‘AutSocGroup’, PARC was set up to bring together autistic scholars and activists with early career researchers and practitioners working with autistic people, to share their knowledge and expertise and to build a community network for those wishing to see more significant involvement of autistic people in autism research. Based at London South Bank University, the group has held a number of meetings and events, and contributed to research projects and publications. We hope to build links with a number of other Universities and Autism organisations as the project moves forward into the future.








Autism Accreditation Excellence Award

Helen Allison School, The National Autistic Society

Helen Allison School is one of the National Autistic Society’s Schools, based in Kent. The school has been recognised as Outstanding by Ofsted in Education and Care, the school provides a stimulating, high quality education that helps pupils with a diagnosis of autism to reach their full potential for over 40 years. Our approach is holistic, with a full therapeutic team working closely together with our teaching and care staff every day, which enables pupils to develop not only academically, but will also to build strong social and communication skills.

Helen Allison School prides itself on the development of support for not only the school community but the much wider community, including parents and other professionals. Many innovative incentives have included an autism specific community library, transition toolkits, support group, workshops and an Alumni. Our Alumni allows us to continue to hear about the achievements of our students and inspires our existing students as we receive news about success stories, which have included continued education and personal accomplishments. The Alumni also enables families to have continued access to signposting to services and support. 

Options Malvern View and Options Bredon House

Options, part of Outcomes First Group , operates a number of nationwide services providing specialist support for children, young people and  adults with autistic spectrum conditions, learning disabilities, complex needs and behaviour that challenges.  Options provide a unique pathway of services which enable individuals to progress at their own pace to achieve and sustain their potential for independence

Options Malvern View is an adolescent to adult life preparation service (AALPS) for young people and adults aged 15+, Options Bredon House provide person centered approaches to support individuals that require a less intensive support structure.  Pathway Plans are developed around independent living skills progressing towards supported living and appropriate education or employment.
Both Options Malvern View and Options Bredon House offer a planned, structured progression from our residential schools to individually-designed 52 week programmes. These services are committed to providing stable, secure and supportive environments, in which individuals are empowered to flourish and lead fulfilling lives.

Woodcroft School

Woodcroft is a family owned independent special school that opened in 1963. Based in Loughton, Essex, Woodcroft provides day places for pupils from across north and east London and neighbouring counties. The school's flexible problem-solving approach extends to the offer of daily home-school transport for pupils who may find travel a barrier to accessing the school's unique provision. The transport service is operated by trained teachers assistants and drivers from Woodcroft's own team and is supported by office and maintenance staff, teachers, therapists and the senior management team.