"Dear Chris, Today the STARS Autism Outreach Service was given feedback from a two-day review of its work by the National Autistic Society. This is a fantastic service, doing a great job in a very complex area of work. Can I invite you to experience the work of the team at first hand? We look forward to seeing you. Best wishes, Carole."
Since 2005 the STARS Service has developed as an all-age autism outreach service, encompassing SILC teachers who were working less formally on outreach. There are four teachers who are seconded to the STARS Service for a number of days each week. It is an important aspect of the Service that staff are practising professionals. In addition, there are three teaching assistants who are employed full-time. The service supports the parents and schools of children and young people with a diagnosis of autism.
STARS was accredited by the National Autistic Society in November 2007 and was reviewed by a team of three during Thursday, 27 and Friday 28 November 2008. The review team examined practice in four areas:
· Referral to the Service
· Partnership with Professionals and Parents/ Carers
· Teaching/ Learning: Curriculum
Feedack from the Review Team has been fantastic and the following areas were highlighted as good practice
- An ethos of enabling is very obvious and strong and constitutes good practice;
- The Team’s practice in supporting parents through its “Stay and Play” sessions is exemplary;
- The collaborative working with the library service to provide Boardmaker software in 15 libraries and a monthly drop-in session for parents and professionals is good practice.
The Review Team also said that this is an outreach service that other outreach services should come to see and that the self-evaluation against the NAS Standards is a beautiful piece of work.
Carole is right, this is a fantastic service, doing a great job in a very complex area of work and I look forward to seeing their work when I visit them after Christmas.