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Senior Special Schools recommendation reques
  • sophiechip
    Posts: 3
    I'm starting to look for a senior school for my son. He has an EHCP due to his ASD (his speech and language therapist diagnosed a PDA profile, but this isn't part of his legal diagnosis). I'm looking for a special school as he spent 3 (traumatic) years in mainstream before diagnosis and now goes to a wonderful ASD special primary. I was wondering if anyone knew of any good senior schools for supporting PDA children? I have spent days online finding a huge list of special, state and independent, schools, just don't know where to start to focus in on a more manageable list. Most schools websites don't appear to provide the information that would be helpful to do this in terms of PDA (or at least I'm not clear what I should be looking for exactly).

    Also does anyone have any good suggestions about the things I should be looking for or asking when I do visit them, to help understand how well they support PDA children?

    Thanks heaps!

    I'm looking for a school in areas close(ish) to Bath, so;
    BANES
    Bristol
    Somerset
    Wiltshire
    S Gloucestershire
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,559
    Hi sophiechip

    Welcome to the PDA Society Forum, hope we can help.

    As your son has a diagnosis of ASD (and is suspected of PDA), it would be advisable to seek a school that is primarily for ASD children BUT who are very aware of PDA and have had recent/regular training for all their staff on PDA.

    ASD Specialist Independent Schools will have the therapists on site ie S&LT and OT for Sensory Processing difficulties - all children with the PDA Profile of ASD will have difficulties that need these therapists.
    Local Authority and Mainstream Schools will not have the therapists onsite.

    ASD Specialist Schools (and usually LA Special Schools) will have the right sensory environment conducive to ASD/PDA children's needs.


    Independent ASD Schools usually have smaller class sizes and more teaching staff to child ratio.


    Independent Schools are usually good at acquiring the right training for their teaching staff.


    I'm not from your area and mainly only know Residential Schools good with PDA so I will list a few schools that MAY be OK for children with PDA but the only way to know for sure is to phone and visit and ask what they know about PDA, Do they have any children with PDA in the school and have all the staff had PDA Training.


    Fairleigh College - 11-16 Newbury, Frome, Somerset

    Newbury Manor School - Frome, Somerset

    (North Hill House - 7-18 Somerset - By all means check this school out, I was informed 8 years ago that they were too inflexible with PDA but times may have changed?)


    Cotswold Chine - 9-19 Stroud, Gloucs (This school was recommended to me, however I'm not sure if it takes Day Pupils?)


    Sorry couldn't find any Independent Schools for ASD/PDA in Bristol or Banes or Wilts - there must be some.

    You will need a school that do not punish children for their behaviour - all behaviour is due/or related to their ASD/PDA. A school that can be very flexible, that have the class size and staff ratio that he has had in Primary as this has worked for him.

    A school who can tell you about PDA and the PDA strategies they use (you shouldn't have to tell them!).


    Hope some of this is useful





  • Rubytuesday
    Posts: 266
    Have you looked at Aurora Hedgeway near Bristol? My friend’s son is there and they have been fantastic with him.
  • sophiechip
    Posts: 3

    Rubytuesday said:

    Have you looked at Aurora Hedgeway near Bristol? My friend’s son is there and they have been fantastic with him.



    Thank you so much for responding.
  • sophiechip
    Posts: 3

    webb said:

    Hi sophiechip

    Welcome to the PDA Society Forum, hope we can help.

    As your son has a diagnosis of ASD (and is suspected of PDA), it would be advisable to seek a school that is primarily for ASD children BUT who are very aware of PDA and have had recent/regular training for all their staff on PDA.

    ASD Specialist Independent Schools will have the therapists on site ie S&LT and OT for Sensory Processing difficulties - all children with the PDA Profile of ASD will have difficulties that need these therapists.
    Local Authority and Mainstream Schools will not have the therapists onsite.

    ASD Specialist Schools (and usually LA Special Schools) will have the right sensory environment conducive to ASD/PDA children's needs.


    Independent ASD Schools usually have smaller class sizes and more teaching staff to child ratio.


    Independent Schools are usually good at acquiring the right training for their teaching staff.


    I'm not from your area and mainly only know Residential Schools good with PDA so I will list a few schools that MAY be OK for children with PDA but the only way to know for sure is to phone and visit and ask what they know about PDA, Do they have any children with PDA in the school and have all the staff had PDA Training.


    Fairleigh College - 11-16 Newbury, Frome, Somerset

    Newbury Manor School - Frome, Somerset

    (North Hill House - 7-18 Somerset - By all means check this school out, I was informed 8 years ago that they were too inflexible with PDA but times may have changed?)


    Cotswold Chine - 9-19 Stroud, Gloucs (This school was recommended to me, however I'm not sure if it takes Day Pupils?)


    Sorry couldn't find any Independent Schools for ASD/PDA in Bristol or Banes or Wilts - there must be some.

    You will need a school that do not punish children for their behaviour - all behaviour is due/or related to their ASD/PDA. A school that can be very flexible, that have the class size and staff ratio that he has had in Primary as this has worked for him.

    A school who can tell you about PDA and the PDA strategies they use (you shouldn't have to tell them!).


    Hope some of this is useful







    Thank you so much for all the info. Appreciate it.

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