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Vision, Mission and Values

Our vision

The Vanguard School’s vision is:

To prepare our learners for life beyond school through specialist education that works for autistic children and young people.

The purpose of our school is to help prepare young people to make a successful transition into adulthood with the confidence and the necessary skills to live as independently as possible and participate in their local community. We seek to increase achievement and independence to give our students the best possible opportunity to gain employment or access further education and enable them to go on to live the life they choose. We aim to provide autistic students currently not receiving an effective or suitable education, access to high quality specialist provision.

The school’s name ‘Vanguard’ denotes a group of people leading the way to advance thinking. A key aspect of our school is to advance thinking in what autistic students can achieve and contribute. As such we work to build social capital and collaborate with core stakeholders to secure opportunities for our students, extending their experiences and future possibilities.

We know we are achieving our vision through being able to demonstrate the following impact:

Our students

  • access a curriculum specifically tailored to meet individual needs
  • are taught using a range of strategies to meet individual learning styles
  • develop skills for life including promotion of safety, well-being and independence beyond school
  • develop a belief in the importance of what they can achieve, not what they can’t
  • recognise and develop personal strengths, interests and skills
  • become empowered to make informed life choices through a structured approach to Person Centred Planning
  • become self-aware and be able to self-regulate personal barriers to learning
  • develop and maintain positive relationships

Our parents

  • feel involved, informed and supported in relation to their child’s progress and development
  • regard the school as a source of expertise and support
  • highly rate the Vanguard School in satisfaction surveys
  • support the work of the school and participate in school community activities
  • take opportunities to develop partnerships with other parents and families
  • use the school as a community resource

Our local schools and community

  • regard us as specialists in the field of autism to develop their autism knowledge and practice
  • understand our students and work with us to extend their opportunities, including work experience
  • seek our advice and contributions on matters relating to autism, for individual students, whole school development and/or community projects
  • use our facilities and resources, including the sport hall
  • welcome us in accessing some of their specialist facilities

Our mission

In order to achieve our aims, our mission is to:

  • have high ambitions for all students to fulfil their potential.
  • demonstrate a clear ethos of respecting each young person.
  • build on students’ strengths and capitalise on interests.
  • be regarded as a regional resource.
  • provide a curriculum that enables students to overcome barriers to learning and develop social skills.
  • provide each student with a personalised learning programme.
  • enable our students to become independent adults, integrated in their local community.
  • put significant emphasis on community-based learning and shared activities with partner schools.
  • ensure all planning is outcome focused, person centred and co-produced with the student and their parent/carer.
  • provide students with a safe learning environment.
  • establish experiential teaching, training and learning opportunities.
  • increase chances of local young people with autism to gain further education, training and paid employment, engaging in extended interests beyond school and living safely in the community.
  • provide training and education for other internal and external stakeholders.
  • establish mutually beneficial relationships with partners in the community. such as higher education, local business, local charities and other organisations.

Our values

  • We learn from real experience

We’ve spent over 50 years working together with people on the autism spectrum. No one has more practical knowledge of autism. But we move with the times and we understand that there’s always more to learn.

  • We inspire

We celebrate progress, open up new possibilities, spur people into action and motivate change.

  • We tell it like it is

We share what we have learned about autism, so that more people can make informed decisions and lead the best lives possible.


  • We are courageous

We won’t accept ignorance or inequality, and we’ll never stop pushing for more understanding, greater support and a better world for people on the autism spectrum.