A new independent school for young people with autismand learning difficulties, to help meet local need, is to open in Tavistock, Devon. The school will be run by Priory Education and Children’s Services, which runs schools, colleges and homes across the country for children and young adults with specialist needs.
The new site is set to open just after half term on 29 October- with an official opening planned for later in the academic year - and its senior leadership team has announced it will be admitting 25 young pupils aged between 7 & 19 years old. Admittance to the school will be staged, to ensure all students are receiving the right support for their individual needs, prioritising young people from the local area.
Tor View School will also offer residential care for up to 10 pupils, providing a safe environment to meet the specific physical, emotional, social and intellectual needs of all students. The residential area provides spacious bedrooms, communal areas to encourage socialising and an enclosed garden. Its neighbouring school, Quay View, is also hoping to provide residential care for pupils in the future.
Tyler Collins, Regional Operations Director for the Priory’s Southern Peninsula Services, comments; “We are delighted to be opening Tor View School for children with autism and learning difficulties in our region. Tavistock is a fantastic area as it allows our children to be educated in the countryside where they can learn and play, whilst making as much noise as possible! We are all excited to get the school up and running and Headmaster Richard Horton has a strong team of staff behind him. If you feel that your child could benefit from our services, then please do get in touch.”
He adds; “For some time, there has been an issue with young people from the South West having to relocate to educational services, sometimes hundreds of miles away from their home and parents, which can often be very distressing. I’ve been working with the Priory Group for several years and I feel so privileged to have been involved in such a strategic and positive project to develop much needed services and resources in the region, which will help keep families together.
“All too often, children with the most complex needs have to travel to a school miles away from home. It really is great news that the Priory is helping to plug this gap in the need for specialist education services within the South West.
“I’m proud that we will be able to offer a really flexible approach to boarding and residential education and support. Sometimes, all a family needs is a weekend or an evening of respite – and if we can offer that to children in an already familiar setting, then the benefits can be significant.”
The curriculum offered at Tor View School is based around developing the students’ key skills in English and Maths. Trained staff will help develop their students’ social, communication and emotional abilities. Individual timetables are designed around the young person’s strengths and interests, and opportunities to engage with the local community are encouraged to build life skills.
Parents can either self-refer their child in co-ordination with their local authority - or the Local Authority will be able to signpost parents of children with autism and learning difficulties directly to the school.
Simon Coles, CEO of Priory Education and Children’s Services, which is part of the Priory Group, adds; “At the Priory, we support over 1,400 children nationwide with varying mental health conditions and learning difficulties through their educational pathway, and do our very best to prepare them for independent and fulfilled adult lives. We are very much looking forward to welcoming our expert teachers, support staff and pupils at the new Tor View site.”