School shows support for autistic pupils

SCHOOL FAMILY Teachers and pupils outside The Thorn Centre.
SCHOOL FAMILY Teachers and pupils outside The Thorn Centre.

A Dewsbury school is leading the way in supporting pupils with autism.

Thornhill Community Academy delivered a series of assemblies around Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for World Autism Day, which was on Wednesday.

And in January the school opened The Thorn Centre, a dedicated support unit to help keep pupils with difficulties within mainstream education.

ASD, a lifelong developmental disability, causes difficulties with communicating and relating to other people.

The academy has also introduced a new initiative that involves fellow pupils offering pastoral support to those who live with ASD, including peer mentoring, a help with homework club and awareness-raising throughout the school.

The centre, which is open to schools throughout North Kirklees, currently supports six students but there is room for 14 more.

Thornhill headteacher Jonny Mitchell said: “It is central to our vision of ‘A School, A Family, A Community’ that we are as inclusive as possible.

The local authority refers students to our specialist provision and we feel it is vital that those with ASD are integrated as fully as possible into our school community.”