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Patron HM The Queen

Sarah Sherwood - Director of Special Educational Needs

'My vision is employability and independent living skills for students with an ASD diagnosis

Sarah Sherwood

As Director of Special Educational Needs, I work at both LVS Hassocks and LVS Oxford, where, with the Leadership Teams, we ensure that we are meeting the many and diverse needs of our students. Our vision of academic achievement, employability and independent living necessitates a thorough assessment for new students, ensuring that the transition into LVS Hassocks is as stress free for the individual as possible, and the necessary supports are available from day one.

Current research shows that only 16% of young people with an autism spectrum diagnosis are in sustained, full-time employment and we are passionate about changing that statistic. Our young people have many skills that will be valued by employers and we support our students to choose a pathway that highlights their strengths.  We actively encourage our ex students to come back to the school to talk to staff about their experiences, as these personal insights give staff a greater understanding of the challenges that our young people face and how best to support them.  Opportunities for existing students to talk to ex students are also scheduled, providing an older mentor who views the world from an ASD perspective and who can support and guide those who are struggling with the impacts of their diagnosis.

The best outcomes for students are achieved when they and their family are included in setting the individual’s targets for the coming year, and providing regular feedback on progress towards those targets.  We have an opportunity to deliver a curriculum that we believe really supports young people with an ASD diagnosis, focusing on Whole Health Learning (ensuring they are physically and mentally healthy and have the stamina to sustain work), Connected Learning (providing concrete learning opportunities that make sense), and Real World Learning (providing opportunities to take embedded skills into the work place and community).

I also firmly believe that staff expertise is a vital element in providing appropriate support for our young people, and we therefore offer a very comprehensive induction and training programme, including inviting adults with an ASD diagnosis to talk to staff.    

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LVS Hassocks,
London Road, Sayers Common
West Sussex, BN6 9HT

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Telephone: 01273 832901

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If you are interested in becoming part of the LVS Hassocks team, view the current job opportunities here.

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