Lincoln University Technical College has become the first secondary school in Lincoln to be recognised by AIM4Lincs for its inclusive culture for students on the autism spectrum and with social communication differences.
AIM4Lincs awarded the specialist science, technology, engineering and mathematics school with a commendation, the highest possible accolade possible.
Introduced by the Lincolnshire Autistic Society (LAS) in partnership with Gosberton House Academy, an NAS Advanced Status Provision, the AIM4Lincs Inclusion Mark is a development tool for schools and colleges seeking to create an autism-friendly environment. It recognises that social communication and autism are closely linked, and good practice is effective in supporting many children and young people with similar differences.
To achieve the AIM4Lincs Inclusion Mark, the UTC had to demonstrate the impact of its practice in promoting the inclusion and progression for pupils with social communication needs and autism, and in providing positive outcomes for them and their families.
Lincoln UTC was praised for the respect and consideration it shows children and young people; its flexibility and the way it works with families to support students, as well as the way its building has been designed, including quieter and clutter-free areas along with a safe haven room.
"We would like to congratulate Lincoln UTC on achieving the AIM4Lincs award at the highest level – Commended Practice. The portfolio and self-audit you clearly submitted demonstrated the respect and consideration shown for children and young people in the care of Lincoln UTC," said a spokesperson for the AIM4Lincs Committee.
Kayleigh Breward, Assistant SENDCo and Sophie Donaghey, Teaching Assistant, oversaw the UTC’s work towards the award. "We’re thrilled to become the first secondary school in Lincoln to achieve a commendation from AIM4Lincs," she says. "We pride ourselves on creating an inclusive environment where students with special educational needs can fulfil their potential. Lincoln UTC is a small school, which helps students to integrate and feel supported," she says. "We are not a special educational needs school, but we make sure that those students who come to us to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics, who do have certain needs, are catered for and supported. Everyone at the school is delighted that our approach is so highly regarded."
Kayleigh and Sophie being invited to become Autism Champion ‘Mentors’ to support and encourage champions in other schools achieve the AIM4Lincs award via The Working Together Team (Lincolnshire’s Autism, Social Communication and SEND Outreach Service). The pair were recently asked to attend and showcase at the Lincolnshire Autism Partnership Board event for local services and businesses who are seeking to obtain the Reasonable Adjustment Mark for creating an inclusive environment.
Opened in 2014, Lincoln UTC specialises in STEM education for 14 to 19-year-olds and works in partnership with industry and the University of Lincoln. It admits up to 160 students into Year 10 and Year 12 each academic year. There are no entry requirements for entry into Year 10, but students must have a keen interest in Engineering and/or Science and a desire to combine practical, technical and academic modes of study. Entry requirements for Year 12 courses and details of the school’s open evenings can be found at www.lincolnutc.co.uk.