The Shires at Stretton
Located between the towns of Grantham and Stamford The Shires at Stretton is an outstanding children’s home and school for young people with autism. Additionally the children may have learning difficulties, challenging behaviour and other conditions such as ADHD, epilepsy and dyspraxia. The children at The Shires at Stretton may also have other associated medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma or allergies. Children placed at The Shires at Stretton all have Education, Health and Care Plans (statement of special educational needs) that specify their specific needs and the strategies that should be employed in order for their needs to be met.
The ethos of The Shires at Stretton is very much characterised by a ‘can do’ attitude. Staff share the value of creating a home for children that is not institutionalised, and that reflects a family atmosphere. Staff at The Shires at Stretton are experienced in supporting children with autism and understand how and when the environment needs to be adapted in order to maximize the potential of each individual. The Shires at Stretton’s approach is firmly based on a therapeutic model, supporting staff to help the youngsters make sense of the world in which they live.
The Shires at Stretton has been converted from a former rectory and more recently a small hotel and provides an excellent, integrated setting in spacious grounds .
Students who live at The Shires at Stretton are housed in individual study bedrooms in the main residential section of the main building. The students’ social and dining areas are friendly, comfortable and inviting with space for students to play games as well as having easy access to the quiet sensory rooms.
There is a smaller building in the school grounds which houses 3 individual students’ bedrooms one of which is en-suite with the other two bedrooms sharing one bathroom. This smaller building has its own kitchen, lounge area and a conservatory. Attached to this building is an extension which forms a teaching and life skills area. This extension houses a fully equipped and functional classroom. The conservatory is the link between the classroom and the 3-bedded home, therefore during the day when classes are in session the home is closed off so that students can only go as far as the conservatory.
In the main building, school is upstairs with three teaching classrooms, or along to the main hall for music and assemblies. The annex area of the main building has a fourth fully equipped and functional classroom.
The buildings and grounds are secure and students have full access to safely enclosed gardens. The sensory garden provides a tranquil and peaceful setting for students to sit, play and relax, with fragrant and soothing flowers, as well as colourful and textured planting which provides interesting sounds, and encourages biodiversity. Students have access to a trampoline and swings and greatly enjoy taking turns on the go-karts.
“Excellent care provided by a motivated, committed and nurturing staff team.” (Ofsted)
The Shires at Stretton
The Shires at Stretton has an outstanding reputation for producing extraordinary outcomes for children with autism and associated conditions. It offers an individualised curriculum of life skills and learning for a wide range of pupils with ASD and associated learning difficulties. The Director of Care & Education, Marina Gough, talks about their unique approach, well resourced facilities and reveals the key to their success.
Meet The Team
Marina Gough – Director of Care and Education
Charles Tosan – Deputy Director of Care and Education
Tracey Ford – Human Resources Manager
Emma Nicholson and Kirsty Truesdale – Registered Managers
George Alley– Teaching Team Manager
Michelle Foster – Office Manager
Staff at The Shires continually strive to improve all aspects of the provision so that students receive the highest standard of care and education possible. The Shires has been awarded a certificate from HMCI (Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector) in recognition of the fact that The Shires is deemed by Ofsted to be an outstanding provision. The Shires, in September 2014, became a directly licenced centre for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. It is also a registered centre for a number of awards including OCR and AQA. By the summer of 2016 The Shires aims to gain accreditation with the National Autistic Society (NAS) for excellence in its work with young people diagnosed with autism.