A young man with autism and ADHD who was previously told he would “never sit an exam” is planning to go to university after making a huge success of his mainstream college course.
Michael* came to High Peak School after several school placement breakdowns. His education had previously been severely disrupted and he had been told he wouldn’t achieve any qualifications. He felt he didn’t fit in within the mainstream environment and that he wasn’t wanted there.
After just a few months at High Peak, however, his mum said that after years of uncertainty and worry, the future seemed brighter for him. After two years, Michael sat a number of exams, including GCSEs, and did extremely well.
With its calm environment, and with bespoke and flexible lesson plans, smaller class sizes and an understanding of his individual needs, at High Peak he continued to thrive and showed incredible determination and hard work.
It paid off and Michael was offered a place in a mainstream college, where his positive journey has continued. Now preparing to complete his college course as he enters his final year there, Michael is exploring university places to continue his studies.
His mother said: “High Peak School played a big part in the stepping stones to this stage. Without the support from High Peak while he was there, I doubt college would even have been an option in the first place.
“We recently had a review and the staff at college fed back to me on how he is doing – I was blown away.”
The college said Michael was “pleasant, chatty and organised with his college work and praised him on his work ethic and the standard of his work which he “just gets on with”. Michael has also been working independently and, while occasionally requesting support with thinking through ideas, he rarely works in or goes to the Learning Support Area of the college. He travel independently and away from the academic aspects of college, Michael also socialises well with others both at college and outside.
Looking now to university – including universities in Wales and Scotland as well as options closer to home in the north of England – Michael has completed all of the application paperwork himself. If he’s offered a place further from home he is considering deferring for a year so he can “further improve my independence skills”.
His Mum added: “This is a far cry from the student who started at High Peak School!”