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Autism Resource Centre (ARC)

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

Manchester Academy has a provision to help students with autism achieve their full potential in school. This is called the Autism Resource Centre (ARC). 

What is Autism? 

Every person has some difficulties and some strengths.  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.

Autism is an identity and as well as presenting challenges there can be lots of strengths.

There are many people who have very successful careers and Autism can be a benefit. Some examples that can be strengths are attention to detail, creativity, special interest (expertise), novel approaches, ability to absorb and retain facts.

An important point to remember is that every person with autism is different and unique, just like everyone else.

What is the Autism Resource Centre (ARC)?

The Autism Resource Centre (ARC) is a specialist secondary resourced provision to support students who are on the Autism Spectrum. A Resourced Provision provides additional specialist facilities on a mainstream school site for a small number of pupils

Resourced Provisions cater for pupils with EHCPs who need a mainstream curriculum, but have difficulties accessing mainstream lessons for reasons related to their Autism (such as sensory needs, restrictive or repetitive behaviours, social interaction and communication or their degree of developmental language disorder). They will require a specialist environment within a mainstream school to support their access to the curriculum and activities offered by the school.

Resourced Provisions are places reserved at a mainstream school for pupils whose primary need is Autism/DLD and who require adaptations to the environment in order to access the curriculum. Pupils learn within mainstream classes, but require a base offering more specialist support and facilities around the school.

Each student will have a bespoke programme to suit their needs. The aim for the students within the resource base is to access mainstream lessons as much as possible.

The ARC is open throughout the day including break and lunch time and students can access the ARC when they need it. Some students will have some lessons or form time in the ARC. 


Students who are allocated a place in the base have access to a range of therapies including art therapy, speech and language 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 also run interventions relating to social skills, local travel and life skills, as well as Lego Therapy and Pet Therapy. The resourced provision is open before and after school as well as break and lunch times to support students. 

Mainstream students with an Autism diagnosis 

We aim to be an Autism friendly school. Students will be provided support as per the SEN policy in the school. Whilst students with a place in the provision are the key priority for the ARC, students in the mainstream of Manchester Academy with an Autism diagnosis (with or without an EHCP) may receive some outreach support, e.g. social skills intervention groups, time out passes, but this is always in agreement with the ARC lead and SENCO. 

How can my child get a place in the ARC?

Admissions to all Resourced provision are decided by Manchester City Council in consultation with Manchester Academy.

As part of the assessment process for an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP), discussions will take place between parents, schools, educational psychologists and the Statutory Assessment Team regarding provision.

For pupils with an EHCP, this provision is discussed as part of the annual review process. A review can be held at any time where there is a significant change in circumstances.

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


Additional support and advice

Information, Advice and Support Manchester (IASM) offer free, impartial information, advice and support to families of children and young people with SEND. Email: parents@manchester.gov.uk  Click here for more info: IASM

Local Offer drop-ins are friendly and informal, Early Help SEND Drop Ins are a great way to get good information and advice about SEND.  Link to Local Offer Drop-ins page

Parent Support Groups. Link to the Local Offer


Greater Manchester Autism Consortium   https://www.autismgm.org.uk/

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Sandwell  EA Runner Up  Finalist  Manchester United Foundation  University of Manchester  MMU  SSAT 

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