JCoSS, the UK’s first cross-community Jewish state secondary school, has announced the appointment of David Wilson as the first Director of its 50-place Pears Special Resource Provision (PSRP) for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC).
The PSRP, which will open with seven 11-12 year old students this September, is believed to be a unique facility within a faith secondary school. It will cater to pupils who, while able to benefit from some time spent in mainstream schooling, would be unable to cope with full-time integrated education. JCoSS, in East Barnet, North London, will itself open at the same time to its first 180 Year 7 students, having recently announced that it is already oversubscribed.
JCoSS’s Governors believe that the PSRP reinforces the school’s commitment to inclusion, not just across the Jewish community, but also on the basis of need. The PSRP is generously supported by Norwood and its donors, including the Pears Foundation, a UK based Charitable Foundation supporting human rights, community and education. The Pears Foundation has a special interest in autism education. It has also contributed generously to the main school.
Wilson, 48, joins JCoSS from Moselle School, a special school for pupils with autism and learning difficulties in Haringey, where he has held the post of Assistant Head since 2000. He has experience of supporting students with a diagnosis of autism attending mainstream school, and has guided primary students with ASC in their transition to secondary school. He has also helped run a youth club for young people with autism. He is currently studying for a Masters in Education in Autism from the University of Birmingham.
JCoSS Headteacher, Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, said:
“David comes with a wealth of experience and gravitas. David’s vision for inclusion and his expertise with children with autism will ensure that the Pears Special Resource Provision provides an outstanding educational experience for our first cohorts.”
On hearing of his appointment, Mr Wilson said:
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to play a part in developing the PSRP at JCoSS. With state of the art facilities, support designed to meet the individual needs of students and an inclusive ethos we will enable young people with autism to meet their full potential and play a full role in the life of the school.
“Working in partnership with Norwood – one of the UK’s leading charities supporting people with learning disabilities and children and families in need – we will be a beacon of excellence, with close links with other providers of support for individuals with autism and their families, both within the Jewish community and beyond.”
Wilson took up the new post on 13th April 2010 and will also act as Special Needs Coordinator (SENCO) at JCoSS during the first year.
He is a trustee of Haringey Shed Inclusive Theatre. Originally from Lancashire, David lives in Enfield and is married with two daughters.