Service Details

Venue Address

Address 1
Prior's Court School
Address 2
Priors Court Road, Hermitage
RG18 9NU

Venue Contact Details


More About The Organisation

About the Service

About the Organisation

Prior's Court Foundation is a registered non-profit making charity managing a specialist residential school, young adult provision and a training and development centre. We support and improve life chances for young people aged 5-25 who are severely affected by autism.

Set on a beautiful 50 acre site in West Berkshire, we have extensive facilities adapted to support the complex needs of young people with severe autism.

Prior's Court School is an independent special school focusing on meeting the needs of children and young people aged 5 to 19 with autism, moderate to severe learning difficulties and complex needs. The school is largely residential with weekly and termly placements over 38, 44 or 52 weeks of the year; there are also a limited number of day places. Based in Berkshire, students come from over 30 local authorities across the UK.

How do people access your service?
They need a referral

Service Details


Fees are dependent on the level of staffing and the length of placement required

Type Of Service
Employment / Education and Training
We support the following age groups:
5-11 Years 11-14 Years 14-25 Years
Who can use your service?

Children and young people with autism, moderate to severe learning difficulties and complex needs aged 5 to 19

Inclusive Services

SEND Contact

Do you have a SEND/Inclusion Contact?
SEND/Inclusion Contact Name
Admissions & Family Support team
SEND/Inclusion Contact Email
SEND/Inclusion Contact Telephone

Additional and Special Educational Needs

How do you aim to meet the unique needs of the child?

Mission: We are dedicated to bringing the highest level of expertise to support and improve life chances for people with autism. Vision: All people with autism will receive the most appropriate support to enable them to lead healthy, happy and fulfilling lives.

Students follow an adapted, individualised curriculum with an emphasis on creating meaningful and functional learning opportunities. Students have a personalised programme of learning with group and individual activities structured throughout their Waking Day and consistent learning objectives across both education and residential settings. Focussing on strengths and interests, the school aims to build independent living skills, communication, social skills, develop leisure and vocational skills and strategies for behaviour management. The environment is adapted to meet students’ needs: it is highly structured, low arousal, safe and secure with 50 acres of grounds providing space for a wide range of specialist facilities. Frequent access to the local community enables students to generalise skills and work towards inclusion as far as possible. Staff are highly trained and supported by a large onsite team of Speech & Language therapists, Occupational therapists with Sensory integration, Psychologists, Nurses, Animal Assisted therapy, Music, Art & Drama therapy and other multidisciplinary support.

How do you promote positive relationships and ensure good, ongoing communication with families?

The relationship between parents and the School is regarded as a partnership. Communication home is frequent and includes regular telephone calls from the class teacher and residential house as well as written updates in a home-school communication book (My Daily Journal) which is completed by education, residential and night staff with details about each section of the day, evening and night and activities and achievements. Parents/carers can also ask for specific information to be given.

Students are supported to enable them to communicate home in the Daily Journal and also by webcam, skype, email, in writing and pictorially dependent on their communication preferences. Successful strategies are shared between home and school to provide consistency for the young person and support for the family. Parents/carers and professionals attend the child’s Annual Review to discuss progress however parents are also welcome to talk or meet with key staff to discuss progress or concerns at a mutually convenient time.

Parents, carers and extended family are invited and welcomed to visit at Prior’s Court School. An on-site flat and family room is available for family visits and stays. Families are welcome to participate in events such as Sports Day, a fundraising Walkathon, Music for Autism concerts. Regular talks and meetings are offered based around topics parents have identified through the parent survey. The Family Support Manager also supports admissions and transitions. The aim is to provide support at the times families and students most need it – i.e. on joining, leaving, changing placement (day to residential, 38 to 52 weeks) and at key points during their time at the school as well as arranging training and providing resources, events and information.

A Parent survey is undertaken annually to gain the views about the school’s provision of education and care of those who as parents/carers advocate for their child. Due to the level of understanding our students have, it can be very difficult to question the students directly about how happy they are with their care and education. Consultation for students at Prior’s Court School is therefore provided in a variety of ways. An independent visitor visits every month to observe different aspects of the students’ lives to ensure their choices are supported within the school. Some students are able to attend their Looked After Child or Annual Review for a short time. If they are unable or unwilling to do so their presence is represented via photos and/or videos of their work and achievements. Children and young people are given regular and frequent opportunities to make choices about their preferences in as many areas as possible and supported to understand and communicate their choices and a range of communication strategies are employed to help students communicate their likes and dislikes and comment on their lives (eg Choice Mats). Many of the children and young people who are non-verbal may express their feelings or communicate their preferences through their behaviour.

Conditions we support
Autism / Aspergers Syndrome Communication


Physical Environment Accessibility

Is there accessible parking on site?
Is there a pedestrian route?
Are doors 900mm or more wide, with flat thresholds?
Do you have external ramps?
Do you have a lobby / porch area?
Are there interior automatic doors?
Are there wide unobstructed corridors (minimum 1200mm)?
Do you have a lift for wheelchair users?
Do you have internal ramps?
Do you have accessible toilets?
Do you have an accessible changing room with a changing bed and a hoist?
Do you have an induction loop and / or radio mikes?
Do you have a quiet room or a quiet area?
Do you have an outdoors play area?
Do you have a soft play area?
Do you have a sensory room or area?