Cause for double celebration at autism school, Autism Wessex

Autism Wessex teaching assistants
Autism Wessex TAs

Portfield School, the specialist Dorset school run by autism charity Autism Wessex, is enjoying a day of celebration to say thank you to its team of Teaching Assistants (TAs) and to announce the creation of exciting new roles that will ensure each student benefits from a personalised curriculum that meets all of their needs.

To mark National Teaching Assistants’ Day, 60 TAs that work at Portfield School are receiving a gift bag packed with goodies as recognition for the vital role they play in supporting students in the classrooms.

Continuing the celebrations, the school is welcoming nine members of staff into new roles that will ensure a dovetailing of the education and therapy provided to each student. Six Integrated Support Leaders (ISLs) and three Integrated Support Assistants (ISAs) will work with teaching and therapy staff to bring a person-centred focus to every student’s journey through the school. The new roles are part of the school’s commitment to securing the best outcomes for its students as they prepare for adulthood. The roles also create a new career pathway for staff, demonstrating the school’s desire to invest in its people.

Working across two phases of the school rather than year groups, the ISLs and ISAs will provide a reassuring level of continuity of support for students, helping them to manage transitions that many find unsettling and stressful and ensure that they thrive in day to day life.

Jemma Dudgeon, Deputy Headteacher of Portfield School, said:

This is an exciting day for everyone at our School! It’s a brilliant opportunity to say thank you to our fantastic, hard-working TAs who make an amazing difference to the lives of our students every day and to welcome our ISLs and ISAs. Working with our TAs and all School staff, these staff members will play a key role in enhancing the learning and development experience for each and every one of our students. They are a part of our continuous drive to improve the service we provide and show our commitment to progressing and retaining our wonderful staff.

Jemma Dudgeon, Deputy Headteacher of Portfield School

Portfield School provides specialist education and support to 86 students aged 4–19 years old with autism. The school is one part of the lifelong care and support that Autism Wessex can provide to anyone affected by autism at any stage of their life.

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