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The Autism Support Centre (ASC)

At Merrylands Primary School we have an enhanced provision (ASC) for 8 pupils diagnosed with Autism (ASD).

What is the Autism Support Centre (ASC)?

Some mainstream schools across Essex have extra support available for pupils with special needs and disabilities.  These are called 'enhanced provisions'.  These are not the same as special schools.

Across Essex, there are four primary enhanced provisions and four secondary enhanced provisions.

To receive a placement in one of the enhanced provisions, including here at Merrylands Primary School, a child must have:

  • a diagnosis of autism and a finalised Education Health and Care Plan for children or young people with autism as the primary need
  • the cognitive ability to access the mainstream curriculum of the academy/school and achieve success in accredited qualifications but, for reasons primarily associated with their autism, such as their social anxiety, are as yet unable to make sufficient progress or fulfil their potential in a full-time mainstream school placement
  • the ability to benefit from access to mainstream classrooms with appropriate support from the centre (i.e. do not have a level of social anxiety, which may result in significantly high levels of challenging behaviour or have challenging behaviours which are entrenched and are additional to their autism)

The purpose of the ASC is to ensure that the pupils attending the centre make progress as detailed within their Education Health and Care Plan.  The idea is that the ASC can provide specialist support and guidance when the child feels overwhelmed; this will enable the child to spend increasing amounts of time accessing the classroom and engaging with their peers in a mainstream setting.