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Priory Group opens its first overseas school for children with autism

The Priory Group joins forces with The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge to provide world-class learning environment for those with autism spectrum conditions

Priory Education and Children’s Services, part of the UK-based Priory Group, has officially opened its first overseas school in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The Al Karamah School was launched in partnership with The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), and will draw on Priory Group’s world-class expertise to fulfil the UAE government’s mission to create inclusive education and learning services for children and young people living with autism spectrum conditions (ASC).

The school will be operated and run by Priory Education and Children’s Services and will include a team of dedicated therapists and teachers for up to 260 Emiratis on the autistic spectrum, between the ages of 3 to 18 years old.

During an official tour of the school to mark its inauguration, Priory Group CEO Trevor Torrington joined H.E. Ms. Sara Musallam, ADEK’s Chairperson, and H.E. Dr. Yousif Al Sheryani, ADEK’s Undersecretary, alongside Executive Directors from ADEK and other senior delegates from the Priory Group.

Mr Torrington said: “The Priory Group is honoured to partner with ADEK to create the first specialist school in Abu Dhabi for children with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC). With a highly dedicated team working in such an outstanding and well-equipped learning environment, we are confident that we can provide high levels of specialist education and care for those living with autism. The school will offer opportunities for all students, encouraging them to fulfil their true potential.”

The school has been carefully designed to provide an intimate and engaging learning environment, while ensuring safety and comfort amongst students. It includes special classroom ‘hubs’, a multi-purpose hall and dining room, in addition to a large oasis 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.

During the VIP tour visit, Her Excellency Ms. Sara Musallam highlighted how the UAE has taken major strides in integrating all people, no matter their ability. She said: “We are keen to ensure that the individual needs of each child in Al Karamah school are catered for, with an emphasis on helping students unleash their potential and best utilize their capabilities.

“This school, which is operated by Priory Education and Children’s Services, has been designed to ensure children are offered every opportunity to create, develop and innovate through creating the appropriate learning environment and facilities that help support children’s needs.”




Notes to editors

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 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.

About Priory Children and Education Services

Priory Children and Education Services currently operate 38 education and residential schools and colleges in the UK, 22 of which are specialist ASC (Autistic Spectrum Condition) schools, aimed at children with autism. These are attended by more than 1,470 children in the UK. We have proven experience in delivering first class care. Our specialist education services provide the highest quality of education and care in a safe and nurturing environment in which your child can achieve the best possible outcome. We firmly believe that all young people, whatever difficulties they might face, respond positively when they are given the right support. Our aim is to unlock the potential in every child, developing academic, vocational, independence and social skills, and helping young people successfully progress into adulthood.


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