Our new centre, designed to help students with autism reach their full potential, has been helping children since September but has now had its opening ribbon officially cut!
The centre has its own team of staff, employed by Salesian but trained by the National Autistic Society to provide up to 20 students on the spectrum with the specialist support they need to attend classes, and give them a calm environment to recuperate in if needed. Occupational and speech and language therapies are available too.
James Kibble, headteacher at Salesian School, said: "The centre has only been open a few weeks but it's already having a really positive impact. The expertise of the staff has helped the students to get the most out of lessons and the building itself has given them a comfortable place to refocus if they become overwhelmed."
Almost 100 students, parents and staff attended the opening, which was led by Mr Kibble and the CEO of the NAS, Mark Lever (pictured, far right). Mr Lever said: "This opening is a milestone for the NAS and Surrey. We often hear from parents who say their child falls through the gaps – they are not eligible for a specialist school but their sensory and social difficulties means that learning in a mainstream school is challenging. The NAS Cullum Centres aim to fill this gap. It's a privilege to have the opportunity to extend our 50 plus years' experience teaching children on the autism spectrum to staff at Salesian School and to work towards making Surrey a beacon of autism expertise in the UK."
The centre at Salesian School is one of four being set up in Surrey, improving the county's ability to offer support and education tailor-made for students on the autistic spectrum. The project, supported by the NAS and Surrey County Council, has been financially supported by the Cullum Family Trust, whose founder, Peter Cullum (picture near left), also attended the opening.
You can find our more about the NAS Cullum Centre at Salesian School in the Learning section of our website.