The Integrated Resource at King Ecgbert School was established to increase the range of educational provision for autistic children. It is an addition and alternative to mainstream and specialist schools. Two groups of staff (mainstream and specialist) join together in an exchange of ideas and practices.
Today, The Resource caters for 30+ pupils aged 11 – 18. Our work over the last twenty years has been built on partnerships with: students who have autism, their family, mainstream staff and management at KES, other specialist providers, Hallam University and parent groups in Sheffield. We have learnt about autism from the best possible teachers…the children themselves.
In 1998, our work took us into the world of employment. Our Autism Centre for Supported Employment now has two full time and two part time staff funded through our own charity based in the town centre. The pupils at KES Resource believe that getting a job for someone on the spectrum is simply ‘a given’. It is these high expectations that we prefer to live up to. From the beginning, we have sought to foster the idea that, “I can achieve” for each and every pupil.
Turnover of staff in The Resource is low because skilled practitioners want to work in this creative environment. Our ideas quickly became a shared vision of good autism practice. King Ecgbert is an autism friendly school and increasing numbers of parents of autistic children applied for a place.
Matthew Hesmondhalgh has led The Resource since it began in 1994.