Welcome to The Shires

We provide a wide range of specialist residential care and education for children and young people aged 11 to 19 and for adults aged 18 to 65 who have a diagnosis of autism and may have accompanying learning disabilities. Some of the children who join The Shires at the age of 11 are able to transition to our Post 19 services. As a result The Shires Post 19 provision enables us to continue to meet the needs of adults up to the age of 65.

Our experience, training and qualifications enable us to set and maintain the very highest standards for working with and caring for the children and young adults with autism.

Parents and placing authorities respect and value our professionalism, warmth and integrity and the way we strive to create a family-like ethos and a homely atmosphere.

“Highly effective services that contribute to significant improved outcomes for children and young people who need help and protection and care. Their progress exceeds expectations and is sustained over time.” (Ofsted)

Marina Gough – Director of Care & Education

16736428267_cd87ba4109_kMarina has been in teaching for over 20 years, starting out in mainstream before becoming an Ofsted inspector. She has been with The Shires for nine years and has been involved from the very beginning, from setting up the site to it achieving Ofsted Outstanding.

With a B(Ed) in teaching, a Certificate in Education, a Diploma in Primary Maths, a MPQH qualification in headteaching and a Level 4 NVQ in Leadership and Social Care, Marina has a wealth of qualifications in the education and social care sector. She has also spent three years as a trainer with the NSPCC.

Marina said: “The Shires is very unique and we take a different approach – this is what makes us Oustanding. Everything we do has the child at its heart and we work very closely with families. Autism is about the individuality of a child and it’s not a one size fits all approach. Effectively I operate as an umbrella at The Shires, across residential and the school, and this allows us to offer a seamless provision.”