Renfrewshire Council

MEDIA RELEASE: St Anthony's Primary shortlisted for national autism award

A Renfrewshire primary school has been shortlisted for a prestigious national autism award.

St Anthony's Primary in Johnstone was nominated for the National Autistic Society's Inspirational Education Provision - Primary Schools and Early Years Award by parents of pupils who attend its Communication Development Unit.

The unit supports pupils with communication development conditions, including autism, providing an inclusive environment where children can learn and engage with their class and community.

It is the second time the school has been nominated for the Autism Professionals Award. It was runner-up in the same category in 2016.

Jacqueline McBurnie, head teacher at St Anthony's Primary, said: "It's very special to get nominated by our parents. It's an absolute honour to serve these children and their families and to know they value what we do is very touching.

"The learning at St Anthony's is for every child, there are no barriers and our inclusive approach is one of our strengths.

"I am very proud the school has been nominated twice for this award. Hopefully this time we will be winners but getting shortlisted is an amazing achievement."

The primary became the first school in Scotland to win the UK Literacy Association's School of the Year Award in 2018.

Councillor Jim Paterson, Convener of Education and Children's Services, said: "I would like to congratulate St Anthony's Primary on being nominated for this prestigious award.

"This nomination highlights the fantastic work the school is doing to support pupils with autism and communication development conditions.

"To be shortlisted once for a national award is fantastic but twice is absolutely amazing. I wish the school the best of luck at the awards ceremony."

The winners will be announced at the National Autistic Society's Autism Professionals Awards in Birmingham on Thursday 7 March.

Carol Povey, Director of the National Autistic Society's Centre for Autism, said: "We run the Autism Professionals Awards each year to recognise and celebrate the people, projects and organisations doing amazing things for autistic children, adults or their families.

"All the finalists should be commended for impressing the judges and standing out among so many excellent nominations.

"By celebrating their achievements, we hope to improve public understanding of autism and inspire other people and organisations to make a difference too."

For more information on autism and the Autism Professionals Awards, visit www.autism.org.uk/professionals

Published: 23 January 2019

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