Staff and students are delighted and incredibly proud of the 'outstanding' rating received by Ofsted following a recent care inspection.

The care that students receive at Prior's Court was praised by Ofsted, which judged the ‘overall experiences and progress of children and young people’. An “outstanding” rating was also given for ‘the impact and effectiveness of managers’, following a two-day inspection in July.

Many of our students are non-verbal or have limited language due to the severity of their autism and can exhibit challenging behaviours. The school offers day and residential placements and teaches students to self-manage behaviour, communicate and develop independent living and social skills.

Inspectors found many examples of exemplary practice and care, praising the staff, specialist environment and overall high quality of the provision.

Inspectors noted that:

“children and young people are making outstanding progress from their starting points. Many who had little communication are now interacting well, using meaningful forms of communication to engage with others”.


“many children and young people have developed the ability to self-regulate emotions and manage their behaviour, to the extent of being able to cope in the community, interacting and socialising with others. This means that they are able to go shopping, to the cinema or to enjoy a meal with family and friends. Parents have commented on how this would not have been thought possible before admission.”

Interactions between young people and staff were observed to be:

“characterised with great care and tremendous patience on behalf of the staff…They [the young people] have an evident trust in staff known to them. The quality of the relationships is exemplary.”

Staff were also commended for their expertise, with inspectors commenting:

“staff are very skilled and demonstrate enormous patience so that the quality of care provided to children and young people is of the highest standard”.

Director of Care, Sarah Butcher, said the latest report

“reflected the hard work and dedication of all the care staff at Prior’s Court. I am delighted that such an able group of inspectors were able to identify Prior’s Court’s many, many strengths. I congratulate all our young people for their hard work in helping us support them to overcome the many challenges they face every day due to their autism.”

She applauded staff and trustees for their drive, ambition and inspiration and thanked parents and carers for their ongoing support:

“Staff, trustees and parents have all invested a huge amount in Prior’s Court and I’m delighted that they are now receiving the recognition they deserve. We plan to continue to improve the already high standards of practice, as well as deliver on our ambitious plans for the future of Prior’s Court, including the new, purpose-built development of four homes which will help us expand our reach even further.”

You can download the full report here.