LVS Hassocks students welcome their MP

The Arundel and South Downs MP, Nick Herbert was invited by the local Lions Club to visit a very special school in his constituency on Friday (14 September).

LVS Hassocks students took a break from lessons when they welcomed Mr Herbert, to the school.  His visit was an opportunity for the pupils to show him their learning environment and what it makes it so special for them.

The school is based in Sayers Common on the site of a former priory.  It provides specialist learning for young people aged 8-19 with a diagnosis on the autistic spectrum.  Mr Herbert has been a support for many of his constituents who have children with autism and Aspergers syndrome.  He recently held an autism 'summit' in Arundel to discuss how to improve services for parents with autistic children.

Many of the school's 68 students are residential during the week, going home to their families at weekends.   LVS specialises in providing a learning environment tailored to giving their students the skills needed for life and employment.  Its model of education looks at each student as an individual, to develop their attributes, help them overcome their anxieties and give them the tools to be a successful employee and responsible adult.

Mr Herbert was given a tour of the school by 17 year old Tonie Collard.  Tonie, who has been at LVS Hassocks for three years, explained how the school has helped her cope with daily life, her diagnosis and given her the opportunity to try different skills in the work place; including working in a nursery, serving in the school's café and learning animal care skills, not only with the chickens at school but as part of an NVQ course at college.

Sarah Sherwood, Head Teacher said:  "One of the greatest concerns for parents of young people with autism, is what will happen when they leave school, and with 85 per cent of adults with autism not being in employment they have a legitimate concern.  However we hope to change that for our students, as work skills plays a huge part in their education with us. 

"Regrettably not all children with a diagnosis are fortunate enough to be able to access specialist education and support.  Intervention delivered early enough in a young person's educational life reaps long term benefits on their ability to be contributing member of society as adults." 

Following the visit, Nick Herbert said: "It was a real pleasure to visit the LVS School and to see what marvellous support they give to children who need a great deal of specialist help.  The school is in the most beautiful surroundings and the whole atmosphere immediately tells you what a special place for learning it is.

"The confidence which pupil Tonie demonstrated in showing me around was itself a marvellous advert for the school and what it does for its pupils."


Notes for Editors

  1.     For more information about LVS Hassocks, please contact Kim Davies, Schools' Marketing & PR Manager on 01344 884440 or
  2.   LVS Hassocks is a supported learning environment for children aged 8-19 years who have communication, socialisation and imagination difficulties, specifically with Autism or Asperger's.   The school opened in April 2009 and is located in the village of Sayers Common village in Sussex, 11miles from Brighton.  Its aim is help their students achieve their full potential in life and society.
  3.   LVS Hassocks is one of two schools owned and run by the Licensed Trade Charity (LTC).
  4.  One of the Licensed Trade Charity's objectives is to educate children from the general public with preference to those working in the licensed drinks trade.  As such the school offers preferential places and discounts to parents whose main job is either serving or producing alcohol.