‘You should all be very proud’ – Stevenage special needs school wins National Austistic Society award for exceptional work

Greenside headteacher Dave Victor and staff members Krista O'Driscoll and Dawn Brown show off their

Greenside headteacher Dave Victor and staff members Krista O'Driscoll and Dawn Brown show off their award with pupils Ben and Tishe. - Credit: Archant

Staff at a special needs school are celebrating after being given a top gong at a national awards presentation in recognition of their ‘exceptional’ work with autistic children.

Greenside School in Stevenage took the accolade for Autism Accreditation Excellence during the National Autistic Society’s annual Autism Professionals Awards at Telford International Centre.

Headteacher Dave Victor said: “The award wasn’t open for nomination, rather we were contacted by the NAS who were impressed by the quality of our provision for autistic children – so it was very prestigious and very unexpected.”

The school – for pupils aged two to 19 years old who have a range of complex, severe and profound learning difficulties – was put forward for the award having received a commendation while on the Autism Accreditation programme.

Staff were praised by the judges for their focus on employment and for their efforts in changing the attitudes of their local community.


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Stephen Dedridge from the NAS Accreditations team said: “They had to achieve an exceptionally high standard in their work to get this award and should be very proud.”

School staff also work with older students involved in the Greenside Studio project – a sweet shop and ceramic studio that offers work experience to young people with autism or learning difficulties.

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Dawn Brown, specialist teacher for autism at the school in Shephall Green, said: “The staff are proud and excited to have received the award – it means that they have been recognised for all the hard work they do every day for our wonderful autistic children.

“Joining the Autism Accreditation scheme and working with The National Autistic Society has been of enormous value in the development of our specialist provision.

“We’d like to thank the NAS for the guidance and support they’ve provided and for the tremendous honour that they have given to our school. It is a very lovely award and we will display it in reception where everyone can see it.”

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