A SCHOOL has been recognised for providing 'exemplary' care to young people with autism by the education watchdog.

Prior's Court School in Thatcham received an 'Outstanding' rating from Ofsted across the board following an inspection in November.

The Hermitage-based independent school specialises in providing for children and young adults with complex learning difficulties.

Ofsted reserved high praise for the leadership of head teacher Sue Piper and commended the progress since the last inspection in October 2013.

The inspection report said: "The curriculum is a major strength of the school. Staff make sure that pupils receive maximum benefit from using the school’s exceptional facilities, such as the countryside learning and horticultural areas and those very well-equipped areas that support pupils’ artistic and physical development.

"Parents are delighted with the school. They praise how dramatically their children have changed since being at the school. All who responded to Ofsted’s survey would recommend the school to another parent.

Reading Chronicle:

“Outstanding leadership enables pupils to make exceptional progress. Staff have an excellent understanding of autism and the needs of individual pupils.”

The school is part of the Prior's Court Foundation and was founded in 1999.

The majority of the pupils who attend the school live in residential accommodation provided by the foundation, with annual fees for day pupils ranging from £76,000 to £102,000.

The head teacher added: ”I am delighted with the outcome which reflects the hard work of all the teams involved and their knowledge of not only autism, but the needs of each individual young person.

“We have high aspirations for our young people and are very proud of their achievements in all areas of learning, especially in light of the many challenges they each have to overcome on a daily basis.

"The ever-changing curriculum is adapted to suit their skills and needs and our staff members are dedicated to helping them achieve their goals and desired outcomes.”

In a separate report, the organisation’s residential care facility received an overall ‘Good’ rating but also scored 'Outstanding' in how well children and young people are helped and protected.