RUDHEATH Senior Academy has been recognised for its work to help children with autism.

The Middlewich Road school has been declared an Autism Inclusive School by Cheshire West and Chester Council, having completed an 18-month Social Communication Programme.

Teachers and teaching assistants received special training which has better equipped them to support students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

And assistant headteacher Emma Leftwick believes that pupils are already seeing the benefits.

“We noticed from the very start of the programme that children who had shown challenging behaviour were doing much better in lessons,” she said.

“The school's environment was adapted and modified following visual, noise and smell sensory checks, and we looked at the ways these issues impact on the students’ engagement and learning.

“Simple things like closing the blinds so there is no glare off a white board have made a huge difference.

“Other measures like being mindful that children can be sensitive to smells in science, or touching raw chicken in food technology, have been beneficial.

“Since we started the course, not a single child with ASD has needed to leave a lesson for additional support other than agreed, due to staff being aware of individual needs.”

The next phase of the project will explore the possibility of developing a sensory room.

Steve Docking, CEO of North West Academies Trust which runs the school, added: “We believe every child deserves the best possible education.

“We're working extremely hard to make Rudheath the best it can be, and this is another step forward.”