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Redcastle Primary and Thetford Academy welcome first pupils with autism into specialist resource bases




Two schools are heralding a new era after welcoming in their first children with autism to specialised centres.

Redcastle Primary and Thetford Academy have opened the new ‘specialist resource bases’ (SRB) which are on the school grounds.

They are on the same premises so the children who attend can be better supported while not being taken out of a mainstream school environment.

Thetford Academy students. Picture: Norfolk County Council.
Thetford Academy students. Picture: Norfolk County Council.

The two SRB’s have been refurbished, new staff have been brought in, and professional support is on offer.

Dan Carter, principal at Thetford Academy, said: “I am very pleased to be opening our new SRB at Thetford Academy.

“Our community has needed access to these specialist places for children with autism spectrum disorder for a while and I’m glad we’ve been able to work together with Norfolk County Council to make this happen.

Dan Carter, principal of Thetford Academy.
Dan Carter, principal of Thetford Academy.

“It’s a privilege to be able to launch this provision, and it will be a key component of our inclusive ethos at Thetford Academy.”

Hundreds of new special school and SRB places are being created across Norfolk as the county council rolls out its £120 million Special Educational Needs and Disabilites and Action Plan Transformation programmes.

Free autism support training is being made available to all schools as well, through the Education Psychology and Specialist Support Scheme (EPSS).

Cllr John Fisher, Norfolk County Council Cabinet member for Children’s Services, said the opening of the two SRBs in Thetford was a ‘great step forward’ for the council.

A Redcastle Primary student. Picture: Norfolk County Council.
A Redcastle Primary student. Picture: Norfolk County Council.

“Thetford is an area where there has historically been a gap in specialist provision for families, a gap I am proud to say we are now bridging,” he said.

“I am delighted that children, young people and their families will have the opportunity to access the extra support specialist resource base schools can provide, including the autism friendly refurbished accommodation.”

Emma Denty, deputy head and inclusion lead at Redcastle Primary, said the new SRBs would help children feel part of the whole school family.

She added they were delighted to have received the investment from the council, which was much needed.

Read more: All the latest news from Thetford

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