Welcome to our school

Welcome to Barbara Priestman Academy and thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our wonderful school community.

Barbara Priestman is a specialist school based in the city of Sunderland for young people aged 11-19 years with Autism and/or complex learning difficulties. The academy is based across two sites, our mainsite on Meadowside that houses our young people aged 11-16 years and our Sixth Form site based in a wing of Thornhill School just a short walk away from mainsite.

Our academy caters for young people with an Education Health and Care Plan who are working below their peers and age related expectations.

Barbara Priestman Academy is unable to cater for young people with a primary need identified as Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties or those working at age related expectations.

We are proud to have a dedicated team of professionals who are passionate about providing the very best possible educational experiences for our young people, helping each individual to grow and develop as they prepare for adulthood.

Our values of Honesty, Inclusivity and Respect encapsulates our ethos and ways of working. We seek to work with young people, their families and other stakeholders to ensure we provide children and young people who have autism and complex learning needs, all of the opportunities necessary so that they develop into wonderful adults who lead fulfilled, happy and purposeful lives.

We recognise that by working collaboratively in solution focused ways we can achieve so much more for our young people. We are proud to be an outward thinking school and are focused on developing a sense of ‘community’ both within our school with young people and their families and externally with a range of other agencies.

Our colleagues are all trained and experienced in understanding and meeting the needs of autistic young people.  We pride ourselves on getting to know the whole family very well and working as a team for the benefit of the young people in our school. Our young people and their voices are at the heart of our school family and decision making processes.

We would love to welcome you to our vibrant school community.

For more information please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Adele Pearson

Executive Head