The Starting Point centre for autism

The Starting Point Centre for Autism is a dedicated low-arousal setting which provides a structured educational pathway for young people who may be diagnosed with autism, or have similar characteristics along with wider additional needs.

Classroom in The Starting Point


Quiet room in The Starting Point

Quiet room

Training kitchen in The Starting Point

Training kitchen

Bedroom in The Starting Point


The Starting Point team place each student at the centre of their individual study programme and build a structure and a routine around them. Pace, activity and content is dictated by our learners’ interests, passions and plans for the future, as well as their existing and emerging needs. Our ambition is always to support learners to engage with the wider College community at their own pace, managing potential stress factors in a careful and controlled way.

There are six teaching spaces in The Starting Point: two classrooms, a training kitchen, a sensory room, a quiet room and a sensory garden that is accessible all year round. Students have the space and resources to develop skills that promote their independence along with their personal and social awareness.

The Starting Point has six residential places that give our learners the
opportunity to practise activities of daily living in the same low arousal, structured environment as the rest of their education.

We look for creative and opportunity led methods of delivery that motivate and challenge each individual, whilst holding very high expectations of their achievement and success. We aim to develop transferable and sustainable life skills that will support each learner to become more independent as they move into life as an adult with a fulfilling and positive future.


Student Jamie in the autism centre

Jamie’s study programme is based in The Starting Point, working with a small team of experienced staff. One of our main aims for Jamie is to increase his levels of independence in everyday activities and we use many different methods to help him achieve this.

These include breaking down tasks into small steps and teaching these steps in ways that support him to understand the end result, natural environment teaching, help scripts and intensive interaction. Jamie’s day comprises of lots of short activities that create opportunities for progress and success.

Since starting College, Jamie has built positive working relationships with people who were initially unfamiliar to him. He is participating in lots of daily living activities and is more confident using Makaton signs to communicate.

Read Jamie's story