Empowering People, Launching lives
By Matt Wicks, Outreach Consultant
The last year has been an incredibly difficult one for families. The structure and support that comes from school became much more complicated. At the start of 2020, Elliott was attending a mainstream primary school, with 1:1 support. When the pandemic hit, he was unable to stay in school despite his additional needs. This school breakdown combined with the national lockdown meant that he was out of education for 9 months, with no alternative provided.
Following a tribunal in September a place at Park House School was secured for January 2021. In the meantime, our Outreach Team were approached by the local authority to support Elliott. The focus for the team was to provide support and training for Elliott’s parents at home and to begin the assessment process for Park House School and facilitate the transition back to school by regular 1:1 visits.
Having the Outreach consultants working with Elliott at home allowed the opportunity to work on targets that his parents needed most support with. This included supporting his communication and accessing the community. For the first time in months, Elliott enjoyed a trip to the park.
When pupils start at BeyondAutism Schools a baseline assessment is carried out which is completely individualised for each learner. With Outreach support, for Elliott, this process was able to start at home. Outreach Consultants liaised with his class team to carry out different elements of the assessment that would usually happen after starting school. Transition visits were also set up so that Elliott could see the school and get used to the space. Having been out of education for almost a year, this all helped to ensure the transition back to school was as smooth as possible for Elliott.
Elliott has settled into school really well. The lockdown in early 2021 meant that his transition was gradual and in March he started full-time and is happy to be in school. Alison and Warren, Elliott’s parents are so happy he is back in education and enjoying activities like dressing up for World Book Day. Alison said, “it has been a game changer for us”, “it’s a really special place”.