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ADEK partners with Priory to open the first dedicated school for children and young people with autism

Abu Dhabi, 3rd February 2019 – The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) is announcing the opening of the first dedicated autism school in Abu Dhabi for Emirati students.

The Al Karamah School, which will be operated by Priory Education and Children’s Services, part of the world-famous Priory Group, is set to open in January 2019. The school includes a team of dedicated therapists and teachers for up to 260 Emirati children and young people who are on the autistic spectrum.

The Priory Group is a leading provider of both specialist education and behavioural care, and has partnered with ADEK for its first autism school outside the UK. The Priory Group currently operates 38 education and residential schools and colleges in the UK, 22 of which are specialist ASD schools. All have a focus on making a real and lasting difference for young people with autism.

H.E. Sara Musallam, ADEK’s Chairperson, said: “We are delighted and immensely proud to support the opening of the UAE’s first school dedicated to the needs of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. We firmly believe that every child deserves to be given the opportunity and necessary tools to learn and succeed in their chosen path. Al Karamah School will offer unprecedented levels of specialised teaching and expertise and correlates with our vision to provide world-class education that supports all learners.”

The school has been carefully designed to provide an intimate and engaging learning environment, while ensuring pupils feel safe and secure. This includes special classroom ‘hubs’, a multi-purpose hall and dining room, and a large oasis-style garden. 

Key features of the school’s educational programme include:

  • Small class sizes to ensure each child can be provided with the individual support needed to help them succeed.
  • The ability to look beyond standard approaches to deliver bespoke packages and a holistic approach to education, developing social needs, self-esteem and confidence.

Trevor Torrington, Chief Executive Officer of the Priory Group, says: “We believe there is a significant opportunity to support children with special educational needs across the Middle East. Our first overseas school, in Abu Dhabi, draws on our vast experience in the UK by creating a positive learning environment from which pupils are able to reach their true potential and go on to lead fulfilling lives and careers as adults.

“An important part of our philosophy is also about working to include and integrate all children into local partner schools and the community, working alongside parents, the educational authorities and other stakeholders.”

 

About Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK)

The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge was established with reference to the Amiri decree issued in September 2017, to change the name of the Abu Dhabi Education Council to the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK). ADEK’s main role is to sustain Abu Dhabi’s leading position as a socio-economic hub with emphasis on nurturing future leaders via a cutting-edge national education curriculum which incorporates high quality learning outcomes, while promoting a culture of creativity, sustainability and excellence, with focus on developing human, social and economic capabilities.

About Priory Group

The Priory Group is the leading independent provider of behavioural care in the UK, caring for around 30,000 people a year for conditions including depression, anxiety, addictions, eating disorders and self-harming. The Group is organised into three divisions – healthcare, education and children’s services, and adult care. The Priory Group is owned by NASDAQ-listed Acadia Healthcare, which is recognised as a global leader in behavioural health.

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