LVS Oxford, a special school for students with autism in Begbroke near Oxford, recently welcomed a local student to spend a day with the teaching team. Dominic Gatt, who is a Year 9 pupil at Wood Green School in Witney, took part in his school’s Bring Your Child to Work Day initiative.
Dominic’s mum, Katie Gatt, is LVS Oxford’s Health and Fitness Tutor and she arranged for him to shadow her for the day so that he could gain a better understanding of the school and what her job entails. As well as helping his mum teach a basketball lesson, Dominic went along to the local gym with a group of students, played football with students at lunchtime, and helped take afternoon lessons in personal and social development (PSD) and history.
Prior to his day at LVS Oxford, Dominic knew that his mum taught health and fitness in a special school for children with autism but didn’t know what a typical day involved for the teaching staff. Dominic comments, “I really enjoyed helping with the basketball lesson because I showed the students a new move and helped them try to do it. The students seemed very well behaved and some of them were really funny. I wasn’t sure what to expect but really they were just like people in my school. The food at lunchtime was really good and the coffee machine in the staff room was cool. Personally, I think I would rather play sport than teach it but it was interesting seeing what is involved in mum’s job. It seemed quite easy to me!”
Louisa Allison-Bergin, LVS Oxford’s Head of School, adds, “As a school, we regularly have university students in for work placements from their teacher training courses at Oxford Brookes and the University of Oxford, as well as volunteers and school students like Dominic. By creating as many opportunities for the upcoming workforce to gain a better understanding of young people with autism and how best to support them, we are paving the way for improved teaching and better job prospects for our learners. Employers have much to gain from recruiting a more diverse workforce and, as a centre of excellence for young people with autism, we are passionate about educating students, professionals, parents and employers so that this generation of young people with autism are able to reach their full potential in the workplace and in society generally.”
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.