Pioneering pre-school the Puzzle Centre, in Middle Claydon, has just received its third Outstanding Ofsted report and is fast becoming internationally recognised as a centre of excellence in its field.
The centre specialises in early intervention for pre-school children with autism.
Principal Alex Stanyer said: “The Ofsted inspector said she wished she could give us higher than Outstanding. She said she felt what we did was a really good example of good teaching practice.”
Over the last couple of years, Puzzle has been working closely with trailblazing American academic, Emily Rubin, from the Marcus Center for Autism in Atlanta, a co-author of the SCERTS model, which focuses on key areas of difficulty for autistic children, such as social communication and emotional regulation.
Mrs Stanyer said: “We’ve worked closely with Emily and now she’s sending people our way and using us as a demonstration site for the SCERTS model. We’ve had visitors from all over the UK, Ireland and even Hong Kong.”
Puzzle is now trying to develop an outreach service forfor families whose child is not able to attend the centre.
And in May, Puzzle is hosting a national conference at the British Library in London, with Emily Rubin as one of the speakers and an address by Puzzle patron John Bercow.
But despite the centre’s success, funding remains an uphill struggle.
Mrs Stanyer said: “We have tremendous support from our local community and its increasing. But we need to raise 250,000 a year just to stand still. Even when the children get ginding from their local authority, it only actually pays for half the costs of them being here.”
Find out more at www.puzzlecentre.org.uk