The Emmanuel Centre

School exterior

Welcome to the website home of the Emmanuel Centre ASC Unit Provision at St. Paul’s Catholic School. Our ambition is that all students receive an education that ensures that, ‘They have life and that they have it to the full’. We are delighted to be working with the Local Authority to open this brand new provision for pupils with ASC who are academically able to access a mainstream curriculum but find the environment of a mainstream school challenging. We have a brand new building going up which is purpose built for students with ASC, is separated from the main school site and has its own entrance. There will eventually be three classes for 24 pupils, but we will grow over time. In 2023-4 we will welcome eight pupils to the centre. All these pupils will be in Key Stage 3. In September 2024 we will be joined by another eight students, and we will have a full cohort by September 2025.

Mrs Louisa Mellor has been appointed as Head of the Centre and will be joined by Mr Steve Brinkman as a specialist teacher. Both have experience of working in secondary specialist settings. They will be assisted by two experienced teaching assistants.

Our ethos is to work in partnership with parents and students to make sure they are ready for the next steps in life.

Our intent is to provide students with an academic curriculum within an environment which is safe, secure and inspiring. We seek to enable students to participate into the life of the centre. We aim to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum that prepares them for qualifications and life after school. The curriculum will be designed around the student and be adaptive for personal needs. Underpinning it will be the EHCP outcomes, skills of communication and skills for life. Ensuring a good ‘Quality of Life’ and being prepared for adulthood is important to us and we will review progression towards this outcome on a regular basis with students and families.

Each student will have a bespoke timetable to include National Curriculum subjects. These will be sequenced to give students the powerful knowledge and skills they need to succeed academically and socially. All students will be supported to meet their own academic excellence. All students will study the core subjects of English, Maths, Science and RE to GCSE or ELC standard. A broader curriculum will be bespoke to the interest and need of the student as outlined in their EHCP. At St Paul’s we recognise the importance and value of academic and vocational courses and aim to ensure that the needs of individuals, cohorts and the school are met. Our intent is to provide specialist autism support and an environment in which students can access an ambitious curriculum to achieve “the best that is possible” and “live life to the full”.

Students will also access a personal development curriculum linked to PSHE and RSE. This will be age and need appropriate and ensure students can be active citizens in the community.

Each student will have affiliation to a class and will have a specialist class teacher and teaching assistants. The specialist teacher is responsible for the planning of both the academic and ‘needs led’ elements of the curriculum. This curriculum will be designed to reflect the aims of the school’s mission statement, “love, serve and do the best that is possible” and the Emmanuel Centre’s mission that all “may have life and have it to the full”.

The implementation of the curriculum will involve SALT, OT and EP interventions and will go beyond academic learning in a formal environment. We will provide experience beyond the classroom.

Each student’s progress against curriculum targets and EHCP outcomes will be monitored and reviewed by the class teacher and Head of Centre. This will be informed by internal achievement data, formal teaching reviews, student and parent voice, external assessments by professionals. Each review will inform future planning of the student’s bespoke timetable.

Parents will be informed formally about their child’s progress in line with the whole school policy of reporting and through the annual review process.

The broader curriculum will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that current provision matches the needs of each current cohort. We will ensure we are outward looking by reviewing provision of schools in a similar context. This will ensure we continue to offer an excellent offer that enables all pupils to do “the best that is possible” and “live life to the full”.


All students in the Emmanuel Centre will have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) as their primary need. Students will have demonstrated the need for an individual bespoke curriculum that takes place in a smaller environment. Students will be able to broadly meet the academic standard required to be successful in a mainstream secondary school. We offer qualifications from Level One to Level Three. Students will not be expected to access the wider school environment.

  1. All parents should visit the school prior to requesting a placement on their child’s EHCP. Parents should feel confident about the ethos and provision available at the school before requesting their child’s EHCP is shared for consultation by the Local Authority.
  2. Places for the St. Paul’s Resource Provisions are decided by the Local Authority’s Special School Panel. All applications to the centre will come to the school from the Local Authority and the school alongside the Special School panel will recommend if the placement should be in the departmental provision (main school) or the unit provision (Emmanuel Centre).
  3. The school and Local Authority are committed to engaging in dialogue with parents and students in their primary setting when considering placement in the specialist resource provisions.
  4. The Local Authority will send in information about the prospective child to the school. The school will review the EHCP and any relevant paperwork and visit the student in their current setting to be satisfied that the needs of the student can be met within the provisions and after taking account of the Equality Act 2010.
  5. Local Authorities other than Milton Keynes must approach the SEND team at Milton Keynes if they wish to apply for a place in the specialist resource provisions.

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