Orbis Abbey Rose in Gloucestershire has welcomed its first pupils into its newly registered specialist school and residential service for children with complex needs associated with autism.
Orbis Education and Care has spent the past 12 months re-modelling the service, which is located on a 17-acre site in Tewkesbury, into a state-of-the-art school and residential service comprised of 10 classrooms, sensory rooms, trampolines, outdoor exercise equipment, tennis and basketball courts and therapy rooms, and many other facilities.
Formerly known as Southwick Park, the school and residential home has been given new life after it closed under the Cambian Group in April 2018.
Mike Currier, CEO at Orbis Education and Care, said: “We are so excited to announce that Orbis Abbey Rose is now fully open and has welcomed its first residents and pupils. We have been really busy taking enquiries for the service as we continue to transition our first group of children into the service: something we are being very careful to manage properly.
“Our vision for Orbis Abbey Rose as a centre for excellence for autism support has at long last been realised and we are beyond delighted to finally be making the most of our wonderful surroundings.”
On purchasing the site, Orbis reduced its 42 bedrooms to 30 to keep the service more manageable. Twelve bedrooms, which were located in the school itself, have now been converted into one-to-one classrooms or therapy rooms.
Likewise, classrooms that were previously located in the residential areas are now large bright lounges, gaming rooms, IT rooms and so on to give residents more space to socialise and enjoy their time when indoors.
Placements for both educational and residential purposes are subsequently available in term-time only, on a weekly boarding basis Monday through to Friday, or all year-round for 52 weeks, depending on the needs of the individual. The service also offers education-only on a day basis.
Currier said: “Congratulations must go to the team on site at Orbis Abbey Rose on developing a stunning service which is set to benefit children on all kinds of different levels.
“We look forward to building on relations we have already established, not just with Gloucestershire and the neighbouring authorities, but with residents in the surrounding community to further enhance the lives of all those entrusted in our care from this point forward.”
Orbis Education and Care runs 17 schools, residential homes and facilities for children and adults in England and Wales which support people with complex needs associated with autism.