MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, Layla Moran, enjoyed a visit to LVS Oxford on Friday 7th December where she discovered how the school helps young people with autism to develop and prepare for independent lives beyond the school.
The Right Hon. Layla Moran, a Liberal Democrat who used to be a teacher of maths and physics, was at LVS Oxford to find out how the school successfully builds the academic achievements of students aged 11 to 19 with autism, and helps them develop independence skills.
She toured the school during its weekly enrichment session, allowing her to play chess with students, help out with an art class and enjoy a clarinet performance from a student, a range of options to help the students discover new skills and gain confidence in areas in which they show talent.
This was followed by a question and answer session with students, where they quizzed their MP on topics such as Brexit and levels of funding for autism in the local community, to which Ms Moran replied that she didn’t feel autism is supported enough in mainstream schools, with not enough training available currently.
Teachers and senior management from LVS Oxford, which is developing a reputation as a centre of excellence for autism having held a number of important workshops to help local education professionals and parents about different aspects of autism, then briefed Ms Moran about the school’s hopes for the future.
These included creating wider understanding of autism, greater government funding for special educational needs and more employment opportunities for young people with the condition. The school itself works tirelessly to create work experience opportunities in this area, with students gaining a taste of employment with placements at Blenheim Palace, local pubs and the gym, amongst others, to suit their skill sets and ambitions.
After her visit Ms Moran said: “It was a privilege to visit LVS Oxford. I have enjoyed a tour, watched students expressing themselves in a play, and led a question and answer session that was really insightful. I am absolutely committed that this is the start of a long and fruitful relationship with the school and students within it."
Head of School Louisa Allison-Bergin said: “We were delighted to welcome Layla to the school and show her the many different ways in which we help students to learn, grow and achieve. Hosting a number of key events recently to help people understand more about autism meant we were well placed to discuss with Layla the key issues which need addressing, and she was very interested in taking that on board and working with us to achieve that."
Parents and carers speak positively about the ways in which staff promote positive behaviour. One said "staff are very caring, they talk to students positively and handle things fairly"