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Grateley House School

Cambian shortlisted for two Specialist Education awards

The Cambian Group has once again been shortlisted in two categories at the Laing and Buisson Specialist Care Awards 2014, further highlighting its leadership within the Healthcare sector.

The industry awards recognise outstanding contributions made by independent providers across the fields of specialist education, mental health care and learning disabilities and will be presented at a gala dinner at the London Lancaster Hotel on the 12 March 2014.

In the Autistic Spectrum Services category, Southlands School’s Deputy Head, Andrew Simmons, is nominated for his outstanding contribution to care.

Last year, Andrew led a group of seven staff members and eight students with Asperger’s Syndrome on a 10-day, 286-mile, journey cycling from Paris to their school in Lymington, Hampshire.

Some 18 months in the planning, their once-in-a-lifetime adventure introduced the students to many new experiences that helped redefine their understanding of achievement and challenged the perceived limitations of autism.

Simmons said: “Many children arrive at a school like ours feeling as though they have failed at just about everything in life,” he said. “If you never try, you can never really fail and that is the mind-set of a lot of children with Asperger’s Syndrome. Ambitious projects such as Project Wheels raise their expectations and turn a negative mind-set into a positive can-do attitude.”

Special Education nomination

Grateley House School secured Cambian’s second award nomination, this time in the Special Education category for its outstanding academic success in helping students with Asperger’s Syndrome achieve their full potential. Head of Grateley House School Sue King was nominated after the school achieved its fifth consecutive ‘Outstanding’ report from the education standards regulator Ofsted.

In its report, Ofsted inspectors wrote: “Progress rates at both Key Stages 3 and 4 compare very favourably with national expectations for both similar and all students. Consequently the gap between these students and that found nationally is narrowing, representing outstanding achievement for their starting points.

Sue King said: “To be rated as an ‘Outstanding’ school by Ofsted is extremely difficult to achieve and it’s a testament to the hard work of everyone here. It also benefits our students as they feel reassured to know that they attend a leading service. We put a great deal of emphasis on creating a positive environment where students feel comfortable and anxiety is reduced.”

Stephen Bradshaw, Managing Director of Cambian’s Children’s Services, said: “After winning last year’s education award we are delighted to be nominated again. Our teachers achieve amazing things with the young people in our care and it is testament to their hard work that we have been nominated again. Awards are a nice recognition for our industry-leading approach but the real reward is working with these amazing children and making a difference to their lives.”

Grateley House is a 38-week or day placement residential school for boys and girls aged nine to 19-years-old with a diagnosis of autism spectrum conditions and complex needs.

Southlands School is a 38-week or day placement residential school for boys aged seven to 16-years-old with a diagnosis of autism spectrum conditions and complex needs.

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