LVS Oxford is preparing for the biggest day in its short history next month, when it will be officially opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex on Thursday 19th May.
Learners at the school, who range from 11 to 19 years old, are preparing to play their part in the big day to demonstrate the confidence and skills they are developing under LVS Oxford’s unique approach. We introduced a student council and Head Boy and Head Girl positions last year to encourage learners to take on responsibilities and aspire to play a bigger role in LVS Oxford’s development. Charlie initially struggled to interact with staff and his peers, only able to do so via writing messages. The school has significantly developed their confidence and social awareness to such an extent that they will lead The Countess of Wessex’s tour of the school to provide a sense of how it is able to have such a positive effect on the lives of children with autism.
Her Royal Highness, who is Patron of the National Autistic Society, will be shown the school’s extensive facilities, and gain an insight into the steps LVS Oxford is taking to redress the statistic that only 15% of adults with autism are in full-time paid employment. One of the school’s main aims is academic progress and qualifications, through GCSEs, A-Levels and a new range of BTECs to enhance job prospects. This is complimented by work experience, and a focus on destinations beyond the school tailored to individual learners, be it job opportunities or mainstream college options.
Other areas of LVS Oxford that Charlie will show The Countess of Wessex on the tour include the therapy provision, including being one of a select number of schools to have an integrative child psychotherapist, the facilities for residential learners which recently received praise from Ofsted, and an insight into how art can be therapeutic and an outlet for creativity for learners at the school which has recently been designated Arts Award Centre status.
Head of Centre Louisa Allison-Bergin said: “We are very excited and honoured that LVS Oxford will be opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex. Our skilled and experienced staff are having a hugely positive effect on learners, developing their life skills to help them become independent, boosting their academic progress to help them move on to destinations beyond the school and helping build their confidence and communication skills. On 19th May they will have the chance to show The Countess of Wessex how well they are doing and what learners with autism can achieve with a positive, unique education”.
LVS Oxford already has a Royal connection as The Queen is Patron of the school, and Prince Philip is Patron of the Licensed Trade Charity which owns and manages it.
Current research shows that only 15% of young people with an autism spectrum diagnosis are in sustained, full-time employment and we are passionate about changing that statistic.