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On Wednesday 6th December 2017, senior team members from Autism East Midlands and Alderman White School gathered to officially sign the Autism Alliance charter which confirms Alderman Whites School commitment to become an Autism Friendly School and place of work.

Since the summer of 2017 the learning and development team at Autism East Midlands working in partnership with the Autism Alliance have provided autism awareness training for all the staff at the school and have also produced an autism friendly environmental audit. The school have worked closely and swiftly to ensure suitable changes have been made to improve their school and to ensure an autism friendly environment.

The school staff and student also proudly unveil The Haven (student space) originally created to support one young student with complex needs who required a classroom work space to accommodate his physical and medical condition. This space has grown and become much more, designed and developed by both staff and students with the objective to create a workable space for students with additional needs, those on the autism spectrum, and for students who from time to time may require a quiet space to break from lessons.

The Haven homes a relaxing and comfortable sensory space with light, sound and touch aids, tables set for school workings, IT and digital teaching equipment , plus a variety of decorations and art work created by the students. The Haven provides (name student) with a relaxed class room desk space to enjoy his chosen school subjects whilst accommodating his needs.

Nicola Caley, Head teacher at Alderman White School, comments

It is a great privilege see how The Haven has developed into such a wonderful and supportive learning environment. It has become a crucial area for students who need extra help in school. I am pleased that all our hard work has been recognised through the award of the Autism Charter – a well-deserved accolade for our fantastic and talented team.

Sam Neal, KS3 Leader of the Individual Mentoring Programme, Alderman White School, adds

Creating the Haven safe-space classroom has been a professional privilege from my perspective. My personal experiences mean that I am a strong believer that when a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment not the flower. The acronym encompasses our whole school ethos and values which remain student centred. I am incredibly proud to have initiated the partnership with Autism East Midlands and long may this be successful.

Linda Wakeham, Learning & Development Lead Autism East Midlands

We were extremely impressed with the time and dedication that has gone in to setting up the Sensory Room at the Alderman White School. The facility has been designed and equipment resourced by the Head Teacher and Leaders who have excellent understanding of the needs of students with autism and students with special needs. We fully endorse this facility, it is an outstanding initiative which will enable some individuals with autism to stay in mainstream school and continue their education.