Autism Resource Provision - Fir Tree School

Last updated: 19/09/2023

The Primary Autism Resource located at Fir Tree Primary School opened in the Autumn of 2017, caters for pupils on the autism spectrum aged between 5 and 11 years. The Resource is one of two Primary Autism Resources serving West Berkshire. It is a state of the art space within the school, with two fully equipped classrooms, therapy room, calm room, sensory room, shower and toilets, a kitchen/ common room and an outdoor area.

Pupils are supported by the Autism Resource staff in mainstream classes and access the resource as and when necessary. The Teacher in Charge of the Resource ensures that personalised programmes of support are planned for each child, in order to support their needs. Additional support is provided, when advised, by external agencies such as Speech and Language, the Educational Psychologist or Occupational Therapists. The children also have access to intervention programmes such as Social and Emotional Skills, Life Skills, Meditation, Mindfulness, Art Therapy, Lego Therapy and Riding for the Disabled. Gardening is also a key feature in the curriculum for these children.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Michelle Pearse
Contact Position
Teacher in Charge
Fir Tree School

Where to go

Autism resource Provision- Fir Tree School
Fir Tree School
Fir Tree Lane
RG14 2RA

Time / Date Details

Time of day

Other Details


Age Ranges
Other notes

What training and support is offered to mainstream staff?

The Teacher in Charge of the Autism Resource ensures that all staff in the school have an understanding of Autism and other Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.  Support and training for the mainstream staff is delivered regularly by the Autism Resource staff. Topics include Autism and other related difficulties. The Teacher in Charge works closely with the staff at Trinity School’s Autism Resource to provide expertise and support for all staff within the Newbury Academy Trust.

Inclusion Information

Dietary Needs

Has Provision

Local Offer


What are the staffing arrangements in the Provision?

Currently, there is a Teacher in Charge of the Autism Resource and eight Teaching Assistants supporting pupils. Additional teaching and support staff will be employed as required.

What qualifications/experience do staff in the Provision have?

Teacher in Charge:  B. Ed (Hons), SENCo- 19 years, Teaching Children Meditation Connected Kids Level 1, Previously Acting Teacher in Charge Trinity School ASD Unit (April-August 2017) Level 2 Understanding Autism, Diploma in Pathological Demand Avoidance

Teaching Assistants:

All staff have a range of skills and expertise and have had extensive training in Autism and associated special educational needs which has been provided in-house, by the LA, CAMHs, the National Autistic Society, and other external providers.

Contact Name
Michelle Pearse
Contact Telephone
Contact Email
SEN Provision Type
Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Local Offer Age Bands
5 to 7
7 to 11

General Provider

What are the eligibility criteria for your service? (please include any age restrictions, types of need catered for etc)

The Autism Resource caters for children with a primary diagnosis of Autism, which has a significant impact on the pupil’s learning and development, and which requires specialised adult support in order to access the curriculum, and for the pupil to make academic and developmental progress. The Autism Resource can cater for pupils who meet the following criteria:

• Meet the LA’s statutory assessment criteria for an Education, Health and Care Plan with a Primary Need of Autism

• Have a diagnosis of Autism which has a significant impact on learning and development

• Have Autism and associated difficulties that affect access to the curriculum and require specialist teaching or support, including a high level of anxiety, extreme lack of flexibility, significant difficulties with social communication, or a high level of sensory integration difficulties

• Have a level of ability within the range expected in a mainstream school

• Have sufficient language ability to access the mainstream curriculum • Can access the mainstream curriculum but may need it presented in a highly specialised and flexible way and with opportunities for consolidation.

• Require intensive, specialist teaching and support to achieve the outcomes identified within their EHC Plan, this includes: o A highly personalised programme to support needs associated with Autism within a flexible approach to adapt to the needs of individual pupils Access to a high level of support from teachers qualified and experienced in teaching pupils with Autism o Access to appropriate advice and support from speech and language therapy o Access to appropriate advice and support from occupational therapy o A high level of support across the curriculum to include appropriate individual intervention and/or small group work o A carefully planned approach to supporting the transition into mainstream environments o Supported inclusion in the mainstream environment o The possibility of access to an alternative curriculum or opportunities to engage with providers of alternative education o An environment and ethos of awareness of the needs of pupils with Autism within the wider school, and where all staff have relevant training

The provision will not be suitable for pupils whose primary need is related to • Emotional and behavioural difficulties • Speech and language delay.

How are referrals/applications made to your service? (include details of who can refer/apply and referral and application process)

Admissions decisions will be made by the SEN/EHC Panel in accordance with the agreed admission criteria for the resource. If the Panel determines, having considered professional advice and parental preference, that a resource placement would be suitable, papers relating to the pupil will be sent to the Headteacher by the SEN Manager for consideration.

The Headteacher will discuss any concerns or queries about admissions with the SEN Manager. In the great majority of cases, pupils will be put forward for placement on completion of a statutory assessment leading to an Education, Health and Care Plan, or following the Annual Review of a pupil who already has a statement or an Education, Health and Care Plan.

An exception to this would include “Emergency placements” for pupils without a statement or Education, Health and Care Plan as permitted by the SEND Code of Practice, e.g. a pupil moves in to the area and may not have a completed assessment but clearly requires specialist provision; or a pupil’s needs change dramatically as a result of accident or illness. In such cases, an application for an Education, Health and Care Assessment should be made by the Teacher in Charge on entry to the resource.

Once a pupil has been accepted by the school for a place in the resource, the school will put in place admission arrangements, including liaison with the feeder school, the child’s parents and other professionals. An individualised plan for the pupil’s transition into the resource should be discussed and agreed by all parties – the school, the pupil, the parents/carers and professionals involved with the pupil.

In the event of concerns about the suitability of a placement, the Resource staff should discuss these concerns with the SEN Manager or relevant SEN Officer. In addition, the Resource staff should ensure such issues are included in Support and Review Meetings. It may also be appropriate to arrange a Multi Agency Meeting in order to formally discuss the placement. If a change of placement is being considered, then the Resource staff must arrange a meeting with the LA present to discuss the situation.

Who provides / funds your service?
Local Authority
Are children, young people, parents / carers charged for your service?
Feedback and complaints procedure

The Autism Resource has an open door policy. Parents and carers are encouraged to contact the Teacher in Charge, or the Head teacher at the school. 

Any complaints should be directed initially to the Teacher in Charge of the Resource or to the Headteacher at the school. If issues remain unresolved, please contact the Service Manager for the SEN and Disabled Children's Team: SEN and DCT Service Manager, Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury, RG14 5LD, 01635 503646


How will I know my child will be safe using this service?

All staff receive regular safeguarding training and are DBS checked. All staff and students will be subject to school policies and procedures including health and safety, child protection, and safeguarding.

Quality checks

  • DBS check

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