Autism Inclusion Award

13th November 2023

Westgate Primary School in Otley has been awarded Autism Accreditation by the National Autistic Society, the UK’s leading charity for autistic people. The award was given in recognition of the school’s good autism practice, including exceptional staff training and insight into and understanding of individuals’ needs. Mental health is a key part of the school curriculum and the school employs a flexible, inventive, proactive and holistic child-centred approach to ensure autistic children are able to access and benefit from the full primary curriculum and extra-curricular activities. Child-centred support is provided for individual autistic children and staff are committed to wanting to see children make progress. Autistic children achieve significant positive outcomes and families are very positive the support they and their child receive.

Autism Accreditation is an autism-specific quality assurance programme. It was set up by the National Autistic Society in 1992 to improve the support available to autistic people in organisations throughout the UK and across the world, including local authorities, NHS trusts, education authorities, schools, colleges and more. To gain Accreditation, organisations have to meet a standard of excellence and follow a framework for continuous self-examination and development. Over 500 organisations are now accredited.

Jayne Chilton, Westgate’s Lead Autism Practitioner, said: “I am extremely proud to be part of this school, seeing the dedication and hard work everyone puts in daily; supporting and including every child so they are happy and successful, enabling them to reach their full potential. To have the recognition from the Autism Accreditation award that we are doing an amazing job demonstrates what an exceptional team we have.”

Anja Cole, Autism Accreditation Assessor for the NAS said: “Everyone at Westgate should be exceptionally proud of their achievement. The National Autistic Society’s Autism Accreditation programme was launched over 25 years ago and sets extremely high standards, which Westgate has worked incredibly hard to meet.

“There are approximately 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK, as well as their three million family members and carers. Autism is a spectrum condition. This means autistic people have their own strengths and varying and complex needs, from 24-hour care to simply needing clearer communication and a little longer to do things at work and school. Without the right support or understanding, autistic people can miss out on an education, struggle to find work and become extremely isolated.

“Autism Accreditation highlights good autism practice and we are very pleased to mark Westgate’s achievement. It is a great thing in itself and, we believe, will inspire other organisations and services to improve the way they support autistic people.”

Find out more about Autism Accreditation on the National Autistic Society website: