Caring staff the key to award win

Celebrating their autism accreditation are Springwell school deputy head and autism co-ordinator Sue Palmer, left, with autism unit teacher Caroline Derbyshire along with pupils at the school
Celebrating their autism accreditation are Springwell school deputy head and autism co-ordinator Sue Palmer, left, with autism unit teacher Caroline Derbyshire along with pupils at the school

A SPECIAL school is the first in Hartlepool to be accredited for its high quality of care and education provided for autistic pupils.

Staff at Springwell Primary School are celebrating after being awarded an Autism Accreditation.

The school is the first in Hartlepool to earn the status, and one of a select few in the North-East.

Inspectors from the National Autistic Society spent a year looking closely at the education and support the school offers to autistic pupils.

They then visited the school, in Wiltshire Way, for an intense three-day inspection before giving the school the green light and rewarding them with the status. Head teacher Karl Telfer said the award is a credit to the hard work of the staff.

Mr Telfer said: “The inspection was extremely strict and for the staff there was even more pressure than an Ofsted inspection.

“But it is fantastic for our school to receive this accreditation.

“To be one of the only schools in the North-East to be given the status shows the level of standard required and is a credit to all the staff.”

The school has 20 pupils who suffer with autism. The qualified staff also support pupils from schools throughout Hartlepool and pre-school children.

Mr Telfer added: “Autistic children like a very strict environment with very little deviation from their regular timetable.

“What we need to do at the school is fit in the needs of the autistic children with the needs of the rest of the children at the school.

“It is very challenging to receive this award but I think it is a reflection of how hard we work here and the standards we aim to reach.

“The parents are absolutely delighted that we have received recognition for the quality of care and education provided for their children.”