Gretton School are delighted to be entering a new partnership with Scottish Autism. As the largest provider of autism-specific services in Scotland, Scottish Autism are a leading authority and advocate for good autism practice. This very exciting collaboration brings the opportunity for the school to pilot a new Autism Practice Improvement Programme.
Through this programme, a passionate team of Gretton staff will bring together years of experience and knowledge to continuously develop good autism practice in the school. With the pupils at the heart of Gretton’s work, their happiness and wellbeing is the sole focus of the collaboration. The Autism Practice Improvement Programme programme uses internationally recognised quality improvement methodology and is developed and assessed by Scottish Autism and Quality Scotland.
This promising partnership is the product of a long journey for both parties. In an interview, Gretton School principal Ian Thorsteinsson explained how these two paths crossed:
“About 7 years ago when I was working for a regional autism charity, I had the opportunity to go up to Scotland and meet Charlene, the deputy CEO of Scottish Autism, to discuss this new approach they were developing to improve autism practice.
“I was very impressed by their view on their staff, and more importantly their exceptionally high regard for the people they were there to work with.
“Unfortunately at that time, the collaboration didn’t come off, and it was very early days in the project for them.
“Fast forward 7 years and I am again looking for a system that empowers my staff team and works to constantly improve practice. I head back to Scotland and meet Charlene and her team again, to look at how APIP has developed. Wow, they are fully embedded, they are supported and celebrated by international quality improvement organisations, fully backed by Quality Scotland and international award winners in quality improvement.
“From there, there was no holding back. We are now the first organisation in England, and one of only two external organisations, to have started the work to embed the system and run projects. We are also going to be the first to fully embed the whole background IT system being built by Quality Scotland for the projects.”
With the Autism Practice Improvement Programme about to launch, Gretton School and Scottish Autism look forward to the first of many projects working to improve the educational experiences of young people with autism across the UK.