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Autism Resource Centre (ARC)

Welcome to Manchester Academy’s Autism Resource Centre (ARC)

The ARC (Autism Resource Centre is a Local Authority funded resourced provision that provides a calm, safe, and trusting environment for students with Autism to succeed. 

Most children in Manchester with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), including those with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP), will be supported in a mainstream school.  A small number of mainstream schools provide additional specialist facilities on their site called a Resourced Provision. 

What is a Resourced Provision? 

Resourced Provisions cater for pupils with EHCPs who need a mainstream curriculum, but have difficulties accessing mainstream lessons for reasons related to their Autism They will require a specialist environment within a mainstream school to support their access to the curriculum and activities offered by the school.

We have a team of Autism Specialist staff and provide in class support as well as a variety of interventions such as Social skills, Lego based therapy, Emotions and Personal Independence.

We also have a variety of different external professionals who work with our students, such as art therapy, speech and language therapy, pet therapy and occupational therapy. There may be occasions where students have to leave lessons to attend these sessions and it is necessary they do so in order to meet the requirements and provisions of their EHC plan.

We are here to help – all day every day

Before school, after school, break and lunch times, time outs, interventions, homework help, and help with any other problems.

How can my child get a place in the ARC?

Admissions to all Manchester Resourced provision are decided by Manchester City Council. Manchester Academy are consulted during the process but do not make any placement decisions.

Parents considering a Resourced Provision place are recommended to visit our Resourced Pprovision before applying as well as speaking to the SENDCO at your child’s current school.

All students in the Resourced Provision will require an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and have an autism diagnosis or be under the social communication pathway where the outcome of a diagnosis is highly likely.

The provision should be discussed as part of the annual review process (or the assessment process). A review can be held at any time where there is a significant change in circumstances.

During the application process parents should specify a preference of Manchester Academy Resourced Provision. Specifying just Manchester Academy would be a mainstream school place. 

If you have any questions about the ARC you can email Mr Harkness at: 




Neurodiversity is about recognising that everyone’s brain works differently. Some of these differences have been given names or labels. The differences in the way our brains work means that we have different strengths and different difficulties. Examples are autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia and Tourette’s


Autism can affects how people communicate and interact with the world. You can’t see if someone is autistic and each autistic person is different. Autistic people have different strengths and need help with different things.

Autism is a diagnosis that means people may have difficulties with communication and social interaction. They may engage in repetitive behaviours, routines and activities.

People with autism see, hear and experience the world differently. They have difficulties with communicating and interacting with other people and this can make daily life very challenging.

Some examples of strengths commonly associated with autism are:

  • Specialist knowledge in topics of interest.
  • Exceptional memory for facts and figures.
  • Honesty and loyalty.
  • Very high level of motivation in topics and activities that are of interest.
  • Ability to carry out tasks with a high degree of accuracy.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Ability to think very logically.


Ofsted (2022):

“Pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), benefit from an increasingly ambitious curriculum. They achieve well.”

“Staff support all pupils at the early stage of reading, particularly pupils with SEND, to catch up quickly with their peers.”

“Teachers make suitable adaptations to activities so that pupils with SEND learn the same ambitious curriculum as other pupils. Pupils with SEND and disadvantaged pupils achieve well.”




“His experience at Manchester Academy has been exceptional. This has enabled him to gain confidence in his own learning abilities. In turn, he's now happily completing homework tasks and seeking out additional support at homework club, something I didn't expect to see!"


“He's valued as an individual and is embraced as a valuable member of the school community.”


“He's encouraged to take part in activities and events outside of his comfort zone which both school and I know that with a little support and encouragement, he will enjoy.’’


“Overall, I was very nervous of my son’s ability to cope in secondary school, however the staff at the ARC have made the journey much more pleasant than I hoped.”

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