Our brand-new school providing specialist education and support for children with autism has been given the official go-ahead to open in Birmingham.
Arc Oakbridge School is the newest school to join the Kedleston Group, which operates specialist residential and day schools, along with children’s homes, across the UK.
As with all new schools, it was recently visited by regulator Ofsted who conducted an inspection, following which it was granted registration.
Based in the city’s Hockley area, and led by Head Teacher Phil Petch, the school will open in the coming weeks and will support up to 40 pupils who have an autism spectrum condition and for whom mainstream schools have not been able to meet their needs.
The independent specialist school offers places to children aged between seven and 16 with autism, including Asperger’s Syndrome, higher functioning autism, social emotional and mental health issues, ADHD and other challenges.
Arc Oakbridge School has been built to bespoke requirements, allowing it to create a calm and welcoming environment which considers the sensory needs of the children learning there. These enabling environments use muted colour schemes, specialist lighting, individual work stations and visual communication.
Class sizes are small and the curriculum, while broadly following the National Curriculum, is tailored to individual needs and interests. There is a focus on supporting children to achieve meaningful qualifications and learning skills to support life outside of school and to move into further education and work.
Arc Oakbridge School is part of the family of Arc schools around the Midlands which includes Arc School Napton, Arc School Old Arley and Arc School Ansley which also provide specialist learning environments for children with complex needs.
Head Teacher Phil is an experienced senior leader in specialist SEND schools. He holds the NASEN SENCo Qualification as well as post-graduate qualifications in Special Education and Educational Psychology.
He and the team are already offering assessments for children to be placed at the school and it is hoped the first pupils will join the school in the near future.
He said: “We are delighted that the school has been successfully registered following our Ofsted inspection and we are very much looking forward to welcoming our first students.
“The environment here allows us to deliver support for young people in a way which meets their needs, creating a place where children can enjoy learning and thrive.
“As a very small school it is a place where children won’t have to deal with the hustle and bustle and sensory overload they’re likely to experience in a mainstream environment.
“We’re looking forward to creating with the children a place where they can achieve their potential.”
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