Vision and Ethos


Cumbria Academy for Autism is passionate about our vision to create life changing opportunities for our students. Our vision is to be a Centre of Excellence for Autism in West Cumbria.

Additionally, we have a broader shared vision for improving education in West Cumbria through our involvement as members of the West Cumbria Alternative Provision Working Group; we are determined to improve Autism provision beyond our school walls and it is this which underpins our centre of excellence model.

We reflect this vision in our mission statement:

To provide children and young people with autism in the Cumbria, the opportunity to reach their full potential in life by preparing them for adulthood, so they may lead fulfilled, happy and purposeful lives.

Our values strongly underpin our vision, as they hold ‘AUTISM’ at the very core of the school; they ensure our students are always central to every decision we make and everything that we do:


  • For every student, every member of staff and for the school;
  • Believing each individual with autism has the opportunity to make a positive difference in this world;
  • Setting challenging goals for students, staff and the school to ensure continuous progress;
  • To offer a wide range of academic and ‘life-skills’ qualifications available to our students reflecting the differing needs of our diverse cohort.


  • Recognising everyone needs compassion, empathy and patience, promoting tolerance and acceptance.


  • To be determined and resilient in character;
  • We will expect this of our staff and develop this in our students.


  • Being a positive and empowering school that encourages and celebrates success in all individuals and respectfully promotes autism in the wider community;
  • To be a ‘centre of excellence’ where knowledge and learning is disseminated throughout the locality, with satellites for learning and sharing knowledge, ultimately improving the lives of those with autism.


  • For our students, their families, our staff and our community;
  • Forging links with local schools, academies, colleges and organisations to share knowledge, resources and information with mutual benefit;
  • To work closely with our students to ensure all outcomes are in line with their aspirations for the future, whilst supporting their transitions into adulthood.


  • Creating respectful, honest students with strong British values, to enable them to become respectable adults and good citizens.