South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne last week visited Overton School, a specialist school for 11-16 year old students on the autistic spectrum, ahead of its imminent opening.
The newly formed Overton School is an independent school owned and operated by Telford-based Bryn Melyn Care, a leading provider of therapeutic residential care, independent education, and integrated clinical services for children and young people with multiple and complex needs. The School is based at the refurbished former Overton Grange Hotel, a mile south of Ludlow.
It will cater for 11-16 year old students on the autistic spectrum, and aims to have 15 residential and 15 day students, once it achieves its Ofsted accreditation, following inspection expected this month. This should allow suitable local authority funded students, currently placed out of county, to receive specialist schooling closer to home.
Mr Dunne said: “I was pleased to visit Overton School to meet the Principal and see the impressive facilities on offer and committed teaching staff already in post.
I understand this is the only such facility in Shropshire to offer specialist residential and day schooling for 11-16 year olds on the autistic spectrum. So this is a real asset for Shropshire and neighbouring counties and I look forward to the school opening once it receives its Ofsted accreditation.”
Farah Quinn, Principal of Overton School, said : “Diagnosis of autism is rising both in this country and around the world, it is all too often highlighted in the media, how too many children with autism are not getting the support which they not only require but are also entitled to. Overton School will provide a much needed specialist provision to support autistic young people who are local to the area and also from further afield.
The inclusive and friendly nature of the community in Ludlow will be important in developing the self-confidence and independence skills of our young people. Coupled with the rural setting of the school it will give our young people, possibly for the first time in their lives, an opportunity to explore nature and the rural surroundings of the school. This therapeutic environment will be instrumental in supporting the students to succeed academically and socially and enable them to go on make a positive contribution to society.”
Photo: (L to R) Philip Dunne MP with Farah Quinn, Principal and Lisa Roberts, Autism Strategic Lead