ALVA ACADEMY has become the first mainstream secondary school in the country to achieve an inclusion award.

Members of the National Autistic Society recognised the good work of teachers and pupils with an Autism Inclusion Award.

The Wee County secondary was hailed for its good autism practice and the ongoing work to provide an inclusive experience for all.

Presented by Stephen Pyott, the society's autism accreditation consultant for Scotland, the award was handed over during a special ceremony on Wednesday, June 28.

He said: “Alva Academy should be exceptionally proud of their achievement.

“This award recognises the work of both staff and pupils in promoting a better understanding of autism and providing appropriate reasonable adjustments to enable autistic pupils to thrive within the school.

“They are the first mainstream secondary school in Scotland to achieve this award."

Alva Academy has been placing an emphasis on raising awareness of autism in the whole of the school with many activities led by pupils and parents.

Staff have been taking forward several strands of work to improve the environment and communication for pupils while mainstream teachers are also advised on how they can make best use of support workers.

The pupils' voices are brought together through an ambassador group and the whole community is involved.

Indeed, many resources are created by parents for parents to create a support network.

Another area where the school has been excelling is its robust and bespoke transitions for children coming in from primary school.

Staff seek to identify needs and strengths as early as P7 or even P6 in some cases to ensure that event before a pupil walks through the door to begin in S1, teachers are already aware of what works for them.

There is much more with the award recognising the hard work.

Scott McEwan, headteacher, said: “We are extremely proud to have been awarded the Autism Inclusion Award.

“It is deserved recognition of the outstanding work done by our colleagues and young people.

“We strive each and every day to ensure that all young people feel included and have the opportunity to thrive.

“The National Autistic Society's award tells us we are doing well on our journey.”