Media release: Moray Council’s autism service receives national accreditation


MORAY Council’s autism service has received national accreditation, recognising the excellent support it offers to autistic young people and their families.

Moray Autism Service is made up of teachers, children’s services workers and pupil support assistants. They work with schools and pre-schools, educational psychologists, social workers, health professionals and further education staff to provide support for children aged three – 18 years, their teachers, families and carers.

They also train and give advice to staff on autism-related topics, and support parents and carers to understand and manage autism.

This accreditation was awarded by The National Autistic Society, following a two-day assessment, and means Moray Autism Service now joins Hythehill Primary School in Lossiemouth and Elgin Academy in receiving this internationally recognised quality standard.

In its accreditation report Moray Autism Service, which supports more than 60 autistic young people, was praised for staff interacting with autistic pupils “in ways that reinforce a sense of self-worth, dignity and self-esteem”. The quality and personalisation of the service’s ready-to-use visual communication support materials was singled out for being of a “very high standard”, and “excellent relationships” with partner schools was highlighted as a strength.

The report also noted: “Moray Autism Service have excellent knowledge of autism and appropriate autism friendly support methodologies. Staff within the service are dedicated and demonstrate a clear desire to do the best for each child referred to the service.”

Lesley Bell and Beccie Thornhill, Moray Council’s principal teachers for autism, head up the service and said the accreditation distinguishes the hard work of the team.

“We value the feedback from The National Autistic Society and, in particular, welcome the positive comments from the pupils we support, and their families.”

Chair of Moray Council’s Children & Young People’s Services Committee, Cllr Sonya Warren, praised the team for securing the award.

“This team provides an invaluable service to many families in Moray and I’m pleased to see their professionalism has been recognised.”

Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live. Nestling between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, Moray stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Brodie Castle in the west.

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Contact: Peter Jones