Autism Accreditation


Autism Accreditation   

At Willow Dene School we provide specialised support to all our pupils, through a personalised and differentiated curriculum that promotes independence at its very core. 

We support a growing population of pupils with an autistic spectrum disorder within twenty-one of our classrooms.  In 2014, we decided to go for our first accreditation with the NAS and since then have had one more accreditation in 2017.  

In May this year we undertook our third NAS review and this time we decided to apply for ‘Advanced Status’ and in July 2021 we found that we had successfully been awarded with this status.  

'The advanced status is for schools and services that are providing support for autistic people which is of an exceptionally high standard in both quality and consistency.  Such provisions stand out as being exceptional and can be considered as centres of excellence.'


The Process for Advanced Status

Assessments are bespoke dependent on the nature and scope of a provision but will normally involve observation of practice and review of individual support plans to identify how well autistic individuals are supported in relationship to social communication; self-reliance and problem solving; sensory experiences and well-being. Key staff will also be interviewed about the approaches employed to support autistic individuals and the training and professional development they receive in carrying out these approaches. Autistic people and/or a person representing their best interests (as appropriate) will take part in a confidential online survey. 

For advanced status case studies are also written to provide evidence that the school is innovative and forward thinking in practice.  At the end of the assessment immediate verbal feedback will be given about what the school does well in relationship to supporting autistic pupils and what it could improve. This is followed by a summative written report. 

We are thrilled with the outcome of our 2021 report and thank staff for all the hard work they have put in to achieving this status!!!


Quotes from Parents

“Willow Dene has been my rock during the lockdown, this school has given me a lot in many ways. My friends are other fellow parents from Willow Dene, its support is present even outside the school itself within our local community.”

“Willow Dene, is a fantastic school, all the staff are friendly and so welcoming. My daughter has just started her third year now and she is doing amazing. She is now saying a few words, using her pecs amazing, counting up to 10, repeating songs and words. I couldn't of wished for my daughter to go to such a brilliant school.”

“The effort and help what I am getting for my child is incredible, Willow Dene is amazing school, I will always recommend it to anyone. Thank you to all staff❤️❤️❤️”