Autism Information

Autism Accreditation

In March 2017 St. John’s received an Autism Accreditation from the National Autistic Society. We are now working towards the Advanced Autism Accreditation.

You can read the full details of our Accreditation report here.

What is Autism Accreditation?

Autism Accreditation aims to set and encourage high standards of provision for autistic adults and children, based on a personalised model of support. While methods should be evidence-based and reflect what has been shown to have had positive outcomes for autistic people, the research has also shown that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach and therefore, it is essential that approaches are tailored for the individual. 

For more information on autism accreditation and best practises, click here:

Alexandra Harris

Autism Lead, Vice Principal

“I joined St. John’s in 2005 whilst I undertook my Teacher Training qualification at the University of Brighton. St. John’s places a lot of importance on the professional development of its staff team, and I am fortunate to have since worked in a variety of roles at both our school and our college, including a Tutor, a Teacher, a Pathway Leader, Head of Learning for Personal Development, and most recently Vice Principal at the college. I also became an Autism Champion for the education department in 2012. I am now responsible for St. John’s autism training, and I qualified as an Intensive Interaction Coordinator in 2016 and enjoy delivering this course to staff across the organisation.

In 2017, St. John’s was awarded Autism Accreditation status by the National Autistic Society. I am very pleased to have been appointed as the organisation’s Autism Lead as of September 2020. In this new role, I am overseeing and working with our Therapy department across our school, college and residential services. Our work is dedicated to providing best autism practice throughout our services, along with our goal of gaining Advanced Autism Accreditation status.

In 2018, I began undertaking a Master of Education in Autism at the University of Birmingham. I am now in my final year of this course and have recently commenced my dissertation which is focusing on how we can further promote the voice of autistic people at St. John’s in order to help continue to develop the service and achieve the best outcomes for our learners.”

Our Approach To Autism

Autistic people are entitled to receive practical support if they require it to help them overcome the challenges they face in a society which very often fails to recognise or accommodate their needs.

That support needs to be rooted in an understanding that autism is an integral part of who a person is, not a disorder to be treated or suppressed so that the autistic person can present as more ‘normal’. Rather, support needs to work with a person’s autism.

Support should build upon the individual’s strengths, assets, interests and talents and enhance their self-esteem and sense of self-worth. It is not about doing things for the autistic person but rather providing them with the tools, skills and confidence to enable them to take control over their own lives. This process should start from their earliest years and should be the terms of reference by which the quality and impact of support are measured.

Get Involved

If you are interested in a placement at St. John’s, please contact our Admissions Team.